MONEY

The Killeen Independent School District is projected to have a deficit of more than $4.7 million in its 2017 budget; however, the district is still waiting on a payment from the federal government of about $18 million, which would impact the final numbers even if it is received in September or October.

“We can push it back as a receivable,” KISD Chief Financial Officer Megan Bradley said, depending on GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) rules.

BUDGET CONCERNS

Those and other budget concerns were brought up at the Killeen school board meeting Tuesday night, where district leaders discussed issues in both the current year’s budget and in the upcoming fiscal year 2018 budget.

Bradley said a combination of what has actually been spent, and what is projected to be spent — or encumbered — on purchase orders up to Aug. 31 is calculated and listed in the 2017 final budget amendment.

“Some of those encumbrances, of course, will be realized, others will not,” said Bradley.

PAYROLL ESTIMATES TRICKY

Estimating payroll for the rest of the fiscal year is tricky, Bradley said.

There are football games and tutoring, which involve supplemental pay, and other hourly employee wages that increase the difficulty of calculating this amount.

“Our goal on the general fund budget is that we do not go over budget by any function code,” Bradley said.

Bradley summarized her department’s philosophy on the budgeting process. “We typically overbudget, overestimate our expenditures ... to make sure that we’ve covered what we need to cover.”

'VERY CONSERVATIVE'

Presenting three years of budgeting history, Bradley made it clear a deficit budget is deliberately calculated. As she said, “We’re very conservative. We’re saying we’re going to spend more than we really think we’re going to spend.”

For 2016, the budget was calculated with a projected deficit of $8.3 million for the general fund. When the audit was completed, according to Bradley, KISD had a surplus of $3.8 million. “That’s because we trying not to go over by function,” Bradley said.

Another point raised by Bradley is that teachers now receive their $100 classroom supply reimbursement as part of their paychecks.

Board member Shelley Wells requested a clarification.

“When we refer to the $100 that we’re going to give to our teachers as a stipend, because it is taxable, so it’s a stipend — versus a reimbursement — was that made clear to them? They understood that?” asked Wells.

Bradley confirmed the taxable nature of the funds had been explained to the teachers, leaving them actually with less than $100 to spend on supplies for their classrooms.

Among the other topics Bradley covered was the debt situation — over $50 million which will be retired in 2028. The budget includes funds directed toward nutritional compliance with the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. She also indicated KISD has the lowest tax rate of many other Texas districts.

A public hearing on the 2018 KISD proposed budget will be held 6 p.m. Aug. 22 at the school board office, 200 N. WS Young Drive in Killeen.

(1) comment

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

Isn't that a normal course of events that you take what has been spent and a calculation of what is to be spent in the future and come up with a realistic actual cost figure and that is placed in regard to 'what is the real number in accordance the budget'????? Is that 'realistic number an actual cost to be spent, or encumbered more than or less than the budgeted number that is in the KISD budget???? That is the number that should be as the actual budgetary figure that is on paper and what the board should be considering.

One of numbers that just recently surfaced is 'the $1,000,000 dollar scoreboard that is not in need of a considerable repair right now, but someone wants it. This should be considered as a 'want' right now. This score board is not in need of extensive repair right now.

I don't think I fully comprehend what is meant by the statement:

Copy: “Some of those encumbrances, of course, will be realized, others will not,” End of copy.

Just what does that mean???? If it meant to say, 'some of the projects/processes can or can not be fulfilled 'depending on how much money we are authorized to spend', then I would say, 'make a realistic budget of how much this operation of the school district requires to keep this school system in operation and that becomes the bottom line. Any additional money that this school district comes up with will be 'money in the bank' and should be carefully thought out as to the priorities that this school district has.

Now this doesn't make sense to me:

Copy: “Our goal on the general fund budget is that we do not go over budget by any function code,” Bradley said.'
Continuation of copy: 'Bradley summarized her department’s philosophy on the budgeting process. “We typically over-budget, over-estimate our expenditures ... to make sure that we’ve covered what we need to cover.” End of copy.
Yep, sounds like the city's 'general fund' to me. Almost everyone does that, a contingency '. But it should not be an 'overly generous sum'.
And in the case of 'tutoring', just what is the basis for figuring out 'who is to be tutored'???? Don't regard a child that has special needs as one who is to be tutored, they are not???? Tutoring is the special, over the course of the semester, a need over and above that that would be considered as normal. This we should not be engaging in. As our Constitution clearly states, 'the many are considered over the one'. I am a firm believer in this principle.
As to the payroll, I don't see this as an extensive problem. You should be able to calculate what the normal school cost is going to be, the cost for what the special needs students are going to require, and what the Summer program is going to consist of. Tutoring just doesn't figure into the equation.
And an estimate of $8.3 million dollars, then an actual $3.8 million, that to me is 'not an estimate', that wouldn't even be a good 'ball park number'.

So when it all said and done, 'a number like $4.7 million deficit', what is an actual estimate of good estimating principles?

This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

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