Farmington Schools forecast shows budget deficit

Farmington Public Schools officials expect general fund budget deficits over the next four fiscal years that will chip away at a $28 million fund balance.

During a Tuesday budget presentation, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Jennifer Kaminski said the 2021-22 budget proposes a $763,000 deficit. That would drop the fund balance to 19.6 percent of expenditures–still exceeding an established target of 8-12 percent.

The district will take in $6.5 million less in revenues, with a loss of over 300 students during the pandemic and onetime COVID-19 funding. Spending increases by .33 percent as the district negotiates contracts, pays increased retirement costs, and ramps up to a full in-person school year.

“I know that seems odd that we would want to use our fund balance,” Kaminski said. “However, the intent isn’t to keep building that fund balance, so what we’re looking at over the next two to three or four years is a responsible use of our fund balance. There are a lot of unknowns.”

Those include state revenues, more than half of the district’s budget. While Governor Gretchen Whitmer has proposed an $82 per pupil increase, lawmakers won’t approve funding until the end of September, Kaminski said.

Three-year projections show the district losing just under 100 students, dropping the student count to 9,000. The forecast assumes $50 annual increases in per pupil revenues, and folds in salary hikes, rising benefit costs, and increases in service and supply costs.

Between 2022 and 2025, the general fund deficit jumps from $763,000 to nearly $8 million. That would drop the fund balance to 6 percent.

Kaminsky said staff will continue to adjust the forecast as more information becomes available.

Trustees will consider adopting the budget during their June 15 meeting. To view the  documents, visit meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Agenda/1087?meeting=469148

Watch the full discussion here:

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