School financial review tracks higher costs, near recovery of lost enrollment from ‘21

by Kate Evans

School Treasurer Ann Bell’s mid-year financial review presentation at the March 1 Morgan County School Board showed increases in tax revenue, salaries and benefits and supplies and decreases in state aid and federal revenue.

Bell said that the regular state levy collections were up $165,937 and special levy collections had increased by $148,338. Local sources revenue increased $345,106 in Fiscal Year 2022.

State aid and state allocations decreased $240,978 because enrollment was down 41 students last year.

Federal revenue from Medicaid reimbursements was down $17,927. Bell said that there is $9,278,733 in revenue still to be collected in Fiscal Year 2022.  Revenue collections are up $239,676 without the unfunded retirement liability factored in.

Salaries and benefits

As to expenditures, Bell said that salaries and benefits expenses were higher overall in Fiscal Year 2022 than in Fiscal Year 2021.  That was due to hiring speech pathologists as staff that were formerly contracted positions and also having highly certified retirees returning as long-term substitutes.

The total salaries and benefits without the unfunded retirement liability of $2,404,634 showed a $384,214 increase, Bell said.

Other purchased services

Other professional purchased services decreased by $80,816 and included legal and audit fees, speech and occupational therapy and library payments.  She said that these expenses fluctuate based on their ability to hire contracted positions.

Under other purchased services, repair and maintenance increased due to 1-1 computer learning and technology infrastructure support.  Bell said that there was an increase in the cost of flood insurance at Berkeley Springs High School. Total purchased services amounts were down from last year.

Supplies, other

Vehicle supplies like gasoline, diesel fuel and automotive repair parts increased $62,716 and technology costs for student software/hardware rose $36,596, she said.  Textbook costs were down due to the prior year English language arts textbook adoptions. Two buses were replaced and a power washer was purchased for the bus garage at the cost of $193,591.

Their new bank for the refinanced energy management lease purchase requires a mid-year interest payment — a debt-related expense of $33,415, Bell said.  Transfers from the general fund to child nutrition were down $80,000.

Expenses and revenue

Total expenditures are up $480,422 without the unfunded liability and the total budget is up $2 million due to carryover, she said.  Year to date revenues are $19,320,548 and year to date expenses are $15,904,740.

Bell said that the projected expenses for the remaining five months of the year are $15,152,175.  The total projected expenditures for Fiscal Year 2022 are $27,875,705. The projected Fiscal Year 2022 year-end balance is $4,203,028.

Fund 71 contains the COVID, ESSER (Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief), ARP (American Rescue Plan) and CIS (Communities in Schools) funding, Bell said.  Most of this funding runs through 2024 and 2025 and she had to include everything through Fiscal Year 2025.

State aid

The fulltime equivalent (FTE) enrollment for the 2021-2022 school year increased by 37.70 students.  Bell said they’ll almost make up for the previous year’s loss of 41 students and the loss of the accompanying state aid.

The local share deduction increased by $146,564.  When the local share deduction increases, state aid goes down, she noted.

Bell’s preliminary state aid computations for Fiscal Year 2023 show a $293,571 increase in state aid from last year. The West Virginia Legislature raise for school personnel will increase state aid funding.