A new fiscal year begins July 1 for the State of Kansas and its public schools. The Great Bend USD 428 Board of Education meet Thursday morning to close the books on 2015-2016.
Superintendent Brad Reed said he expects the district will gain over $300,000 as the state switches from the block-grant funding formula back to the old formula. The Legislature approved changes last Friday during a special session. The Kansas Supreme Court had given lawmakers until July 1 to fix funding inequalities across the state, saying that schools might not reopen if no action was taken.
On Monday Governor Sam Brownback signed the bill that adds $38 million to the budget for education and the Court approved it.
Reed expressed confidence in the district’s ability to adequately fund programs, compensate teachers and maintain buildings.
“We’re in really good shape right now,” he said. “It’s always good to have money to transfer.”
Assistant Superintendent Khris Thexton, director of business and operations, said the district is “fiscally strong.”
“Thanks to the work ethic of the Legislature and everyone involved we will be able to stay open as planned,” he said. “We’re doing what we can to keep our expenditures down and keep our balances where they need to be.”
New general fund transfers approved Thursday to complete the 2015-2016 budget include:
• $103,384 to cash reserves.
• $200,000 to capital outlay. Expenditures include a new activity bus and new roof on Great Bend High School.
• $75,000 to professional development.
• $10,000 to bilingual education.
• $270,000 to the textbook fund. The district is preparing for its next major text adoption, in language arts.
Supplemental general transfers were:
• $27,379 to cash reserves.
• $276,237 to capital outlay.
New transfers are in addition to transfers previously approved with the adoption of the 2015-2016 budget last year. They maintain the district’s cash balances due to money spent during the past year, Thexton noted.
“This practice will keep our cash reserves stable in special funds to help us through difficult financial times,” he said.
The district’s rough estimate balances at this time are $658,384 for the general fund and $303,616 for the supplemental general fund.