When this year’s budget process started, Seaside School District business manager Justine Hill described the district’s financial outlook “favorable and stable.” Due to the coronavirus pandemic, economic impacts are uncertain.
While the forecast shows “excellent financial indicators, it does not reveal a clear picture for Seaside School District’s revenue outlook,” Hill said at last week’s budget presentation.
Capital projects, special revenue and debt service bring the total budget to more than $58 million. With the near completion of the new campus in the Southeast Hills, the district continues to pay down general obligation bonds for construction.
Last year’s budget showed almost $83 million in the capital project fund, while this year’s proposed budget reduces that to a little more than $22 million. Next year’s budget is expected to show about half that, Hill said.
The district expects the new campus, along with renovations and additions at The Heights Elementary School, to be complete for the start of the school year.
The $23 million general fund budget is about 1% higher than last year’s.
The district will keep a close eye on “financial markers,” Hill said. “If there is a significant impact in financial projection, the district will prepare and present resolutions.”
A downturn could lower tax collections, funds from timber revenue and the federal government.
Superintendent Sheila Roley said the district is “prepared to face any financial obstacles without jeopardizing the integrity of our programs to students.”
Proposed expenditures “will be revisable.”
Real estate continues to have an upward momentum, which has a “very favorable” impact on the district’s revenue calculation, Hill said.
Because the teachers’ negotiated 2020-21 contract has not been settled, the school district budgets a 2.5% step placeholder increase in salary and a $25 per month employee benefit plan increase similar to past years.
In the fall, the district anticipates adding a pre-K program to serve 4-year-olds, Roley said.
Budget committee members will be asked to approve the budget at the district’s May 19 meeting. A public hearing and board meeting to adopt the budget is scheduled for June 16.