BROOKVILLE — Ellen Neyman, business administrator for the Brookville School District, had a very good report for the school board Monday night.
“Obviously with COVID, that we didn’t see coming, you are going to see some ups and downs,” she said as she reviewed revenues and expenditures.
- Local revenue accounts for 36 percent of the annual budget. Last year’s budget projected $9.022 million in local revenue, but ended the year with an additional $554,000 in local revenue. Neyman said part of the increase was from additional real estate taxes collected. “Normally we budget a 91 percent collection rate; last year we had 92 percent,” she said.
An additional $269,000 came in from delinquent taxes which were collected, “but that collection was stopped for a time once COVID hit,” she said.
Overall, there was a 6 percent increase in local revenue collected over what had been budgeted.
- State revenue accounts for 60 percent of the budget. Although some of the state grants were less than budgeted, a significant increase in the transportation subsidy resulted in an increase of $52,000 from state sources. Neyman said a large part of the reason for the transportation increase was the result of an increase in the number of vans being used to transport district students.
- Federal revenue accounts for only 4 percent of the district budget. Although Title I and Title II grants were less than budgeted, two CARES grants during the pandemic gave the district an additional $345,000 balance from federal sources. A $298,000 CARES grants purchased electronic devices for all students in the district, and a second CARES grant, in the amount of $30,000, was used for the Bright Space program and other needed supplies.
Overall, the district finished the year with an additional $951,000 in revenue.
Neyman said that nearly all expenses during the year came in under budget. “It is a team effort,” she said.
- For education expenses, “we came in at about 98 percent of budget,” she said. “The major variances were in regular ed and special ed, for the most part salaries and benefits. There were less salaries happening for substitutes and we also had some changes in benefits because we had changes in staffing.”
- Support services, including the school nurses, guidance counselors, administration, transportation and technology, came in at 91 percent of budget. “Because of the shutdown our utilities were lower, so we had a considerable savings on natural gas, electricity and water/sewage.”
- Student activity expenses were also below budget because so many events were cancelled. This came in at 87 percent of the budget, due to everything from transportation to officials at games to event workers, such as gates and tickets.
Neyman said more good news “was that we did not have to dip into our budgetary reserve,” which had been a possibility when the original budget was approved. Expenses for the year were 96 percent of the $25.911 million budgeted.
Reviewing the entire budget, Neyman said “revenue was up 4 percent and expenses were down 4 percent,” with the district ending the 2019-2020 year with a difference of $1,545,000. “Even with unexpected COVID changes, we are exactly where we need to be. This is probably the safest place we could have ended up for such an unpredictable year,” she said.
Board member Fred Park said the budget review “indicates to me that our administrators, our teachers, our school, have done a good job of watching how they spend money.”
Superintendent Erich May said, “How grateful I am that our admin team and from that team out through the organization is a thrifty bunch. Ellen Neyman also deserves credit, because she has a fundamentally conservative approach to budgeting and doesn’t gamble.”
Neyman said that although the 2019-2020 school year ended June 30, “it takes four to six months for us to close the books” because “we still have bills to pay out and receipts still coming in. We are nearing the end of that process and by next month I hope we have the completed audit and you will be able to review that.”