District 196 to face future budget issues

Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District officials expect the district will need to consider making budget adjustments in the next two years.

District 196 will face budget constraints beginning in the 2014-2015 school year when the district loses its one-time $3 million compensatory funding and $7 million in integration aid, said Jeff Solomon, finance director for District 196.

With the loss of these funding sources, the district’s state funding will remain flat while expenses rise due to inflation, Solomon said.

As a result, the district will need to make a $33.3 million adjustment to its budget.

This could come through a referendum, increases in fees or program cuts, Solomon said.

District officials and School Board members plan to meet later this month to develop different scenarios.

Although District 196 expects to face future budget issues, its financial picture in 2012-2013 is better than projected.

The district’s total revenue for the school year is $296 million, which is nearly $6 million more than projected. This is part of the district’s recent savings trend. It saved $9 million during the 2011-2012 school year due to increased state aid and internal cost savings.

“This is a testament to our discipline,” Solomon said.

Much of the savings this year is in wages and salaries. Three years ago, the district laid off 107 teachers as a part of budget cuts. Others were let go as the district increased its student ratio and changed its middle school schedule.

In the years following, the district negotiated contracts that lowered increases in salary schedules.