Q&As from March 16 Special Meeting

2019-20 audited financial data from the Department of Instruction (DPI) website has the District’s  total operating revenue at $10,793,146.

Currently, we purchase services for our Food Service Director from the Abbotsford School District and for our Library Media Specialist from the Colby School District. At this time we purchase 2 days a week for each.

The common goal of the board of education is to keep class sizes small in the early grades PK-2.  Decisions to determine the class ratios for grades 3 and 4 will be based on the overall needs of the group and available resources.

2019-20 Comparative Cost
Using Audited 19-20 Annual Report Data

Membership 739 Total Cost % of Total Cost Per Member
Instruction $5,435,391 52.7% $7,355
Pupil/Staff/Support $837,954 8.1% $1,134
Admin* $988,860 9.6% $1,338
Oper/Other $1,473,569 14.3% $1,994
Transportation Costs $380,361 3.7% $515
Facility Costs $698,577 6.8% $945
Food & Comm Serv Costs $507,400 4.9% $687
TOTALS $10,322,112 100.0% $13,968

2019-20 Comparative Revenue
Using 19-20 Audited Annual Report Data

Membership 739 Total Revenue % of Total Revenue Per Member
Property Tax Revenue $3,219,916 29.8% $4,357
Federal Revenue $509,645 4.7% $690
State Revenue $6,665,346 61.8% $9,019
Local Non-Prop Tax Revenue $398,239 3.7% $539
TOTAL REVENUE $10,793,146 100.0% $14,605

*Admin costs include:
General Administration Expenditures - Office of the Superintendent/Board
Members/Legal/Election, School Building Administration Expenditures - Office of the Building Principals
Direction of Business Expenditures - School Business Office, Fiscal Expenditures
Budgeting/Accounting/Audit including staff involved in these areas as well

The most recent audited financial information from the DPI website fiscal year 2019-20 shows the District spent  $380,361 or 3.7% of its total budget on transportation. This includes the 5 regular daily routes, a special need/Early childhood bus, and athletics.

As of March 17, 2022 the School District of Spencer has 101 students open-enrolled into our District and 125 students open-enrolled out.

In very simplistic terms and estimation because of the variables involved in the school funding formula -  If you take our 2019 data and estimate at $14,605 revenue per student and considering the estimated $987,457 shortfall we would need an estimated 67 additional students to maintain.

Because we are not looking to add any new programs but to bring back programs we reduced or cut due to the failed referendum, we can reinstall programs with our current building.

Because this is a recurring referendum, the school district will be able to continue to serve our students and community with the quality education they deserve beyond the five year mark. With this plan the tax impact will remain level as long as school enrollment, property values and funding from the state is stable.

We know that voters in the district are suffering from referendum fatigue and the board is confident that this long-term plan will alleviate that feeling as we all continue to strive for the best for our students.

The yearly budget for the  School District is voted on and approved by our tax payers at the school district’s annual meeting each fall. At that time you will have the opportunity to learn more about our budget and voice any concerns and cast your vote.

The current makeup of the school funding formula makes that a difficult question to answer but our  goal with this recurring referendum is to create a structure where we can operate for a long period of time without having to ask for more.

The majority of the schools across the state are under some sort of referendum umbrella to provide opportunities for their kids. The recurring referendum option is a long-term plan for a successful future for our students instead of coming back to the voters through a non-recurring option every 5 years.

Yearly Estimated Costs for building addition
(Estimate is base on 6 months of data)

Custodial .5 FTE $24,922.50
HVac Maintenance $2500
Gym Floor $2500
Insurance $2840
Heating $5400
Electrical $3000
Airfoam Roof (15-20 year life cycle) $5300
Total $46,462

Albeit, the District has not had formal talks with the Village asking for support and vice versa. The process of working with the Village to bring the tornado safe shelter (Dome) to the district has created a relationship or a better understanding of the importance to work together in growing out population in the Village which creates added enrollment for our School The Village has done a great deal of work in creating opportunities for growth with a subdivision along with the industrial park to create job opportunities in the area.

With current projected cuts for the first year and compound that with an estimated shortfall of $1.4 million dollars great emphasis will be placed on the importance of not creating a great financial hole for the district to dig out of. Additional cuts means less opportunities for kids which results in parents choosing to go elsewhere.

With the failed 2021 referendum of $975,000 for one year, we started with an overall deficit in the current school year of that amount resulting in the reduction of the 3 teachers referenced. The additional funds will be used to reinstate Business Ed., Spanish, add a school counselor and a math interventionist while maintaining our current staff. The average staff wage/salary increase for teachers has been based of the consumer Price index CPI for the past 5 years has been 1.74%.

As for profit/loss ratio, a school district does not operate on a profit/loss scenario. A breakdown of cost and revenue per member has been shared above in the FAQs.

The number of 2022 graduating seniors is 53 students while the current projected enrollment entering Kindergarten in the fall of 2022 is 35 students.

As a district that has a collective bargaining unit the maximum increase that is allowed for teaching staff is the consumer price index rate as of January for that year. The CPI is the rate of inflation for the midwest. The average increase for teaching staff for the past 5 years has been an increase of 1.74%, the board has also matched those percentages on a yearly basis for administration. For support staff the average increase for the past 5 years has been 1.96%.