ST. FRANCISVILLE — A $28.2 million budget for fiscal year 2015-16 was adopted Sept. 15 by the West Feliciana Parish School Board.
In making the budget presentation, Supervisor of Finance and Management Ruthie Davis said the school system is in good financial shape.
“We have reached some of our goals of making cuts where necessary and saving programs that are having long-term benefits,” Davis said.
The general fund budget is roughly $25.2 million, with another $3 million coming from federal and state sources. Projected revenue will balance with expenditures.
“We’re again estimating a balanced budget,” Davis said.
The budget is helped this year because retirement system costs and insurance premiums did not increase. A decrease in the Minimum Foundation funding — what the state pays per pupil — will be offset by projected increases in sales taxes and ad valorem taxes.
Also helping is $120,000, made up of half state and half federal funding, for the Louisiana 4 Early Childhood Program, which is new this year.
The system’s rainy day fund, which includes money that can be used for unexpected expenditures with School Board action, has grown to $2.1 million in just six years. In addition, the system has lifted the salary freeze for employees that has been in effect since 2012-13.
But there are challenges ahead, she said. Among them are keeping the school’s buildings maintained without deterioration as well as School Board-owned busses.
Because of effective planning, the school system has enjoyed surpluses the past two years.
“We are in a good position now because we put away dollars when we could, and now we’ve positioned ourselves to be able to do things on our campuses and with programs we haven’t been able to do before,” said Davis. “We’ve postured ourselves to be fiscally sound, and do things for instruction, for facilities and for transportation. We’re also addressing equipment needs in every department without having to say we’re making cuts.”