By Hillary S. Meeks
Killeen Daily Herald
The projected revenues and expenditures in the Killeen Independent School District 2006-07 budget show the district is in sound financial shape if projections are accurate.
Approved Tuesday by the KISD board of trustees, the budget projects revenues of $276.381 million, which is $14.719 million less than projected expenditures of $261.662 million.
Though a nearly 14-cent school district tax rate reduction was made, it balances out because of extra state funding, as well as an increase in student enrollment, up to 36,600 students.
"For years the state has been putting more of the burden on the local school districts, taking away funding. This year, they finally shifted the balance and took more responsibility," said Billy Walker, KISD assistant superintendent of business services.
Walker said KISD is also in good financial standing because it prides itself in going into as little debt as possible, especially when it comes to funding new building construction.
"For a long time this board and previous boards have tried hard to set aside a little bit of money each year to meet future facility needs," Walker said.
Most new facilities are paid for in cash, which he said prevents bond issues – though he said he can't guarantee there will be no bond issues in the future.
"For a lot of projects in the district, we're able to not go into debt," he said, though the most recent bond issued to KISD was $100 million. Walker said refinancing that loan about two years ago saved taxpayers more than $1 million in interest.
Revenue for the capital projects fund is projected in the budget at $18.23 million, which includes $10 million transferred from the general fund budget, Walker said. The projected beginning fund balance for the capital projects fund is $56.28 million.
Another, more unusual, example of the district's financial efficiency, Walker said, is the fully self-sufficient cafeterias.
"KISD provides no local supplement for the operations of school nutrition," he noted.
A budget chart citing the revenue and expenditures for school nutrition makes it appear as if school nutrition's budget will be in the red by $873,489, but Walker said there is an explanation.
The state requires the school nutrition fund balance – which is comparable to an emergency savings account – to stay under a certain limit. At this time, KISD's school nutrition fund balance is over the limit, so the budget for school nutrition was made to withdraw that extra $873,489 from the fund balance in order to keep it under the limit.
The budget approved by the board of trustees includes the general fund, school nutrition and debt service. The entire budget for 2006-07, $310.859 million, includes federal and state grants. The use of these grants is dictated by those entities and therefore does not need to be approved by the board, Walker said.
Federal grants pay for such programs as drug-free schools, English language acquisition and vocational education. State grants pay for regional day school for the deaf, the state-mandated pre-kindergarten expansion from a half day to full day, and technology.
To see materials used in presenting budget items at the Tuesday KISD board of trustees meeting, go to www.killeenisd.org and click on "Board of Trustees." On that page, choose "Board Agendas," and a list of all recent board agendas and minutes will appear as links. Choose the Aug. 28 board agenda link and the agenda will appear. Under each agenda item are links to the paperwork behind it.
Contact Hillary S. Meeks at firstname.lastname@example.org