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.
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.”
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.