Hazelwood Schools Realizing Operating Budget Surplus

The Hazelwood School District was awarded grants, combined with cost saving methods have put the district in a surplus position, even with added safety measures.

This article was originally published February 20, 2013.  Budget information reflects figures from that time period.

In November, Patch reported on the updated 2012-13 operating budget. Prior to that, HSD was dealing with a $2.9 million operating budget deficit going into the 2012-13 school year.

During Tuesday's HSD Board of Education meeting, Dwight Lindhorst, assistant superintendent for finance and facilities gave his quarterly budget update.

He said the major changes to revenue dealt with incoming grants to the tune of $279,000 combined with a $65,000 financial institution tax balanced out a decrease of $220,000 of transportation revenue  to make the current operating revenue balance $123,000.

On the spending side, HSD had to match those incoming grants to the tune of $279,000, Lindhorst said. HSD also increased security costs by $85,000, but has saved a lot in other areas.

"We had savings on new positions we had budgeted that we have not filled of $725,000," he said. "We have a decrease in various other expenditures of $181,000 that resulted in a net decrease of operating expenditures of $542,000."

Do the math and Lindhorst said the increase of revenue of $123,000 along with the decreased expenditures of $542,000 have taken the November budget deficit from $496,000 to a $168,000 operating surplus.

But the outlook isn't all rainbows and sunshine.

Looking at next year, Lindhorst said the situation for which he has been trying the prepare the district will come to pass.

"The St. Louis County assessor has indicated to us that residential property values will decrease 5 percent county-wide on average; however, the drop in the Hazelwood School District is expected to be 10 percent with another 1 percent decrease in commercial assessed valuation," he said. "These decreases will cause a decrease in property tax revenue for HSD estimated at $4.7 million."

Lindhorst said loss of revenue will affect next year's budget, planning and long range financial projections.

In other news, the Hazelwood School District Board of Education approved the districts bus routes for the school year so the plans can be sent to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

"Twice a year we have to send a  report to DESE," Lindhorst said. "In October and February we have to send a ridership list."

Lindhorst said the routes can change on a daily basis depending on if new students enroll, but said it's a standard DESE requirement to submit the report.

Ashley February 22, 2013 at 05:16 PM
This is unfortunate. The tax revenue portion. That means HSD will have to dig into reserves or look for grants, but it's dangerous to teach based on grant funds because you are teaching what the grant desires and not what the students need.


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