NCSD Budget Process Update – November 8, 2017

We would like to take this time to provide you with an update in regards to recent work by the NCSD Board Budget Committee.

Since 2015, the prime objective has been to develop a multi-year budget plan that shrinks the District’s operations to match the reductions in state funding while staying committed to maintaining a priority focus on student learning.

The development process continues to be guided by the following priorities:

  1. Maintain a focus on student learning and the District’s strategic goals funding essential functions and services
  2. Create budget reduction strategies through a comprehensive study of the District budget
  3. Reduce positions through attrition and reassignment – striving to avoid layoffs
  4. Achieve operational efficiencies that create opportunities for reductions
  5. Maintain a competitive compensation package
  6. Maintain the improved District facilities – prioritize funding to avoid the effects of deferred maintenance
  7. Complete construction projects within the budgets and funding available

 

Budget Update at NCSD

Natrona County School District has worked diligently to remain fiscally responsible in a time of projected declining enrollment and shrinking revenues. Proactive measures are continually implemented in the interest of minimizing potential negative effects felt as a result of these trends.

NCSD has already cut $4 million dollars and will cut approx.. $4 million each year, over the next two years, to reach the $12 million dollar reduction we have received as a result of state funding reductions and falling enrollment.

Wyoming is facing a significant deficit in K-12 funding due to a downturn in the industries that provide a majority of the state revenue. It is projected the state deficit could reach $400 million dollars annually.

The 2017 Wyoming Legislature began to address the potential deficits and outlined a five strategy approach in their White Paper:

  • reductions in state funding provided to school districts,
  • raising spending caps to allow more existing revenues to flow to K-12 state funding
  • use of state savings (rainy day funds)
  • redirection of existing state revenue to K-12 state funding
  • additional tax revenue dedicated to K-12 state funding through new sources

 

If the funding deficit were addressed by the State utilizing only reductions in state funding provided to school districts, NCSD’s share of the potential deficit would equate to approximately 25% of our annual budget.

On October 23, 2017 the Board Budget Committee received a report from District officials on what a potential 25% budget reduction ($48.5 million) could look like at NCSD. This report was presented as a proactive tool for a greater understanding of what a potential budget cut of this magnitude could mean for NCSD. It is important to note, this report was presented as a “what if”. The Wyoming State Legislature is currently examining the state’s education system through recalibration, which focuses primarily on how schools are funded. District officials are continually monitoring and participating in the Wyoming Legislative Process.

We will continually work to provide you with updates and information on NCSD Budget work and Legislative work by the state. We greatly value the input and perspective you have as a stakeholder and welcome you to provide feedback by emailing communications@myncsd.org.

 
 

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