Clarkston Community Schools approves 2024-25 budget

Budget shows $5.5 million deficit in projected expenses compared to revenue

Correction: The district did not eliminate its virtual program entirely, just discontinued a partnership with a virtual elementary curriculum program provider in the summer of 2023. The 120 student loss in the 2023-2024 school year was caused by families that chose to stay with that provider.

Clarkston Virtual is still available for grades K-12 provided by CCS teachers.

The Clarkston News apologizes for the mistake.

By Megan Kelley
Clarkston News Editor
At its meeting last month, the Clarkston Community Schools Board of Education held its annual budget hearing and approved the district’s 2024-25 budget. The board then later approved the budget 6-0. Trustee Steve Hyer was absent from the meeting.
Mary Beth Rogers, Executive Director of Business Services presented the budget during the state required, annual public hearing.
Rogers began the presentation by stating that the budget presented is being done so without a State Aid Budget, as the state has yet to approve a State Aid Budget.
“I was hoping maybe we could finally change and have a State Aid Budget approved but we still do not have an approved State Aid Budget,” Rogers said. “We did have a May Revenue Consensus on May 17 and that actually came in less than January for the School State Aid Fund. But, even with that, the State Aid Fund is still in decent condition.”
According to Rogers, the district still has some one-time grants that can be used next year but 90% of revenue is still unknown so the district is working based on its own budget and Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s budget, which was released in February of this year.
Budget parameters for CCS include a decrease of 50 students in the district’s student count but a gain of 75 students through open enrollment. The district also eliminated its virtual program which resulted in a decrease of about 120 students. This is a total student loss of about 95 students.
Rogers also shared that there was a 5% increase in benefit changes, no change with MPSERS (Michigan Public School Employees’ Retirement System).
“There is a lot going on out there with the MPSERS. We have no numbers right now – those numbers could change drastically depending on where that ends. There’s a lot of controversy going on with our MPSERS retirement and legacy loss,” Rogers said.
There was also a $241 increase in per pupil funding. Shared services is capped at 10% which includes a one-time Section 11T Summer Funding.
“That is what’s left of our COVID funding. This is all we have left and it will cover our summer 2024 summer program and then we are done because those grants all end September 2024,” said Rogers.
The budget also includes human resource contract obligations and new security/SRO positions.
From these parameters, some assumptions can be made, including an increase in per pupil foundation allowance to $9,849 which would earn the district somewhere in the $1.6 million dollar range depending on student count. Special Education, Bilingual and At Risk programs received a 2.5% increase in the governor’s budget which rounds out to an additional $200,000 for the district. Title allocation reductions decreased $177,618. The 10% cap on shared services resulted in a $3,415,350 increase and the local revenue additions erate also saw an increase at $58,000. The PA18 ISD allocation increased $500,551 but the IDEA ISD Allocation decreased $155,183. The One-time MSPERS offset resulted in a $302,933 decrease and the Bus IPA saw a decrease in $2,747,400.
All but one One-time federal and state funding and grant saw a decrease due to them being just that, one-time. The only section that saw an increase was the new 35J Professional Development grant.
The district’s overall projected total revenue for 2024-25 is $130,160,467 and total expense of $135,922,051 resulting in a projected deficit of $5,592,584.
“This puts you at a fund balance of 16% which is still well over cash flow borrowing and it’s still well over the 10% goal,” Rogers said.
The 2024-25 projected fund balance for Clarkston Schools shows an estimated fund balance of $21.7 million, of which $1.8 million is assigned and $19.7 million is unassigned.
Both the board and the public were awarded time to ask questions about the presented budget but there were none.

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