Skip to Content
News

Columbia Public Schools projected to spend $4.6 million more than it’s bringing in during the 2021-22 school year

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Columbia Public Schools held a public hearing Wednesday for its 2021-22 school year budget. Meeting documents project the district will spend nearly $4.6 million more than it will bring in.

Chief Financial Officer Heather McArthur reviewed the budget for the school year and members of the community commented after the presentation.

The district's funding showed that in total revenues with local, intermediate, state, federal and other, the district is estimated to bring in $248,404,158. The estimated total expenditures for salaries, benefits, service/supply, and transfers out is at $253,002,443 meaning the district would spend close to $4.6 million more than it is bringing in.

McArthur said the main priority of the district's funding is improving the pay of employees. "Just to step everyone on their salary schedules each year is right under $3 million," said McArthur.

Spokeswoman for the district, Michelle Baumstark, said, "the budget provides planned salary increases and maintaining benefits for employees."

Sixty percent of expenditures go toward salaries at $144,006,061 with the next highest being service and supply at $46,962,316.

Changes to the 2021-22 proposed operating budget shows a decrease in net revenue by $6.5 million and an increase in net expenditures by $16 million.

"The district plans to continue to maintain low class sizes," said Baumstark. The current average class size in CPS is 16, with a 13:1 student-teacher ratio.

McArthur also said the enrollment numbers last year were down by about 800 students, 300 of which come from the kindergarten group.

Fixed costs for the district are estimated to increase from last school year to next by $871,606 with the biggest increase coming in student transportation. The district noted that transportation expenditures were down significantly due to the COVID-19 closure in the fall of 2020.

Baumstark said the budget includes expenditures related to the completion of the addition at Rock Bridge Elementary School and renovations at Jefferson Middle School. The budget includes planned deficit spending. "We intentionally built up savings to pay for one-time costs related to the opening of new schools. The savings we're using for the intentional deficit spend to pay for one-time costs includes some savings related to COVID, such as reduced expenditures in bus transportation," said Baumstark.

Fixed costs for the district are estimated to increase from last school year to next by $871,606 with the biggest increase coming in student transportation. The district noted that transportation expenditures were down significantly due to the COVID-19 closure in the fall of 2020.

Columbia / Columbia Public Schools / Education / Local News / Money / Top Stories / Video
Author Profile Photo

Chanel Porter

Chanel joined ABC 17 News in January 2021 after graduating from Penn State University. She enjoys traveling and a daily iced coffee.

Comments

2 Comments

  1. “The district plans to continue to maintain low class sizes,” said Baumstark. The current average class size in CPS is 16, with a 13:1 student-teacher ratio.”
    In the twelve years I spent as a student in public schools, 1961-1972, don’t think I was ever in a classroom with fewer than 25 students, and quite often with more than 30. Shocking how if you insist on maintaining standards you can’t afford, your spending goes in the red.
    “McArthur said the main priority of the district’s funding is improving the pay of employees”
    WHAT!!?? I thought the one and only priority of a school district was educating children.
    Revenue is down because the powers that be chose to destroy our economic, social, and mental health over a virus a bit more dangerous than ordinary. People aren’t making as much money. Of course that is of no concern to the school district that wants to pay employees as if nothing happened.

    1. If the main priority is improving employee pay that is a straight lie. Employees were told they will not be getting the pay they earn in July until September!!!! This includes all staff support and teachers. So they want us to work summer school which is extremely under staffed AND delay our pay. And this information was given to us about three weeks ago, after we
      accepted positions. To say I’m furious is an understatement.

Leave a Reply

Skip to content