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School Board Highlight: Closing the gap on the 2019-20 Budget (3/27/19)

What’s going on with the district budget? Our district could face a funding gap of about $15 million in 2019-20 due to many factors including legislative changes to levy collections, healthcare (SEBB) costs, a delay in K-3 class size reductions, employee group bargaining (salaries/benefits/cost of living), and attrition (retirements/resignations) and MSOC (Materials, Supplies and Operating Costs), reductions. Read more here.

While student enrollment drives staffing (we expect an enrollment increase of about 110 FTE (full-time equivalent) for 2019-20) our staffing costs are only partially funded by the state. Even if the Legislature comes up with some funding/fix (i.e. raising the local levy lid, etc.), we would still face about a $10 million gap.

There are still many questions of how we might close this gap. Since the beginning of the school year Superintendent Dr. Debra Clemens and leadership staff have been meeting weekly to figure out cost-savings measures. These include but are not limited to reductions in hiring, recruitment, professional development, travel and department budgets. They have made school visits and presentations to all 22 schools and district staff regarding this situation. We have also discussed the budget in our internal and external newsletters and on our website, and will continue to keep our staff and community updated.

Dr. Clemens, Board members and other local districts have continued to work with our legislators by testifying on bills and providing information regarding the impact of potential changes to current laws and what it would look like for NTPS. The last day of the Legislative session is scheduled for April 28, 2019. Contact your local legislator!  

NOTE: In 2019-20 we would only see a levy collection increase in the spring if the Legislature makes an adjustment to how much districts can collect within their voter approved amount. NTPS plans to go out for an enrichment levy in February 2020 for collection in 2021. The 2020-21 school year would be the first full year of any levy change.