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Higher than projected enrollment yields more dollars for Petersburg schools


School board members unanimously approved an updated budget presented by Finance Director Karen Quitslund at Tuesday’s meeting, which included an additional $197,643 in revenue from the state, based on student enrollment.

The budget was formulated based on a projected enrollment of 425 students. The actual student enrollment for this year is 431, one student more than last year’s enrollment of 430.

“So in the fall we have…our student count. When we have those actual numbers, they get plugged into a formula called the foundation formula and that gives us our funding that we’re actually going to receive from the state,” Quitslund explained.

The larger-than-projected student enrollment comes with more state dollars, but also requires a greater expenditure by the district. The updated budget reflected that with an additional $145,395 – the bulk of the increase in expenditures – going to instruction.

Of that, an additional $40,554 was allocated to instruction supplies and materials to cover costs associated with curriculum adoption, for which they’d previously under-budgeted.

“This is a huge curriculum adoption year, actually the last two years. So we didn’t anticipate how much that was going to cost,” Quitslund said. “Plus we had more students, so we need more materials.”

The beginning fund balance got a $30,000 boost as well with the budget revision, bringing it to $981,984. Quitslund explained that the school district’s fund balance carry over is restricted by Alaska State statute.

“I’m not sure how many people in the general public are aware the school district is restricted on our fund balance that we are allowed to carry over from year to year. Alaska statute states that we can’t carry over more than 10 percent of our expenditures from the previous year,” she said.

After receiving a boost in State funding, total revenues for fiscal year 2015 under the revised budget are $10,137,109. Total expenditures under the revised budget are $10,135,438. The difference between revenues and expenditures leaves $1,454, which brings the total ending fund balance to $983,438.

The State also requires that 70 percent or more of the school’s budget is allocated to direct instruction, Quitslund said.

“Right now with this proposed budget we’re at 74 percent, which is excellent,” she said.


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