Board prioritizes facility repairs, student support in FY22 budget

Board prioritizes facility repairs, student support in FY22 budget
Posted on 07/03/2021
BOE approved FY22 budgetThe Mehlville School District Board of Education unanimously approved the budget for the 2021-2022 school year (FY22) at its June 24 meeting. The FY22 budget of $129.3 million includes a projected operating loss of $2.3 million.

The district currently has 33.3 percent of operating expenses in cash reserves as of June 24. Those reserves will decrease throughout the fall until the district receives local property tax revenues. The cash reserves are estimated to drop to 28 percent at the end of FY22.

“We are continuing to make wise financial decisions to best support our students and community,” said Dr. Chris Gaines, superintendent. “We have made the strategic decision to invest in our buildings, some of which are physically crumbling. We are also providing our teachers and support staff with salary increases to help us retain and attract qualified staff.”

When the budget was approved, FY21 had a projected loss of $4.5 million. As of the June 24 meeting, our actual estimated loss in FY21 was $0.7 million. This is largely due to responsible financial management and federal COVID relief funds.

Additionally, last school year, we paid off our Certificates of Participation (COP, also called a lease). A COP is a type of loan for school facilities. As a result, about 45 cents of the total tax levy has been freed up for the FY22 budget. Twelve cents of those funds will be transferred to our debt services fund to address facilities needs following voter approval of Prop S. The remaining 33 cents will be used for operations expenses and to help address the $30 million in future HVAC renovations anticipated to be needed in the next seven years. 

The district will also be using $1.1 million in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds received as part of the federal government’s COVID-19 relief funds to address HVAC replacements and repairs. This spring, teachers and administrators met to determine the best use of the approximately $13 million the district will receive over the next three years. Our plan focuses on academic and social learning interventions, increased student activities and academic support after school.

View the FY22 budget.
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