C-A Board approves 2017-18 budget

FLINT TWP. — There are a few staff reductions but no changes in programs for Carman-Ainsworth Schools in a “tight” 2017-18 budget approved last week by the township board.

The general fund budget will need about $20,000 from its fund balance to bridge the gap between $53,117,029 in expected revenues and $53,137,766 in expenses. That will leave a projected fund balance of $2,604,628.

The board also approved a 2017 Food Service budget of $2,653,613. A Community Service budget of $345,000; a Debt Retirement budget of $3,022.982, and a Building and Site budget of $419,821.

According to a budget presentation by Assistant Superintendent Russ Parks, budget assumptions are based on:

• A $77 increase in foundation allowance (state aid) from $8,058 to$8,135

• An estimated blended student count of 4,944 for the school year – a decrease of 70 students

• Salaries will remain the same based on three-year collective bargaining agreements

• Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) payroll taxes remain at 7.65 percent of salary

• Health, dental, vision and life insurance rate increased an average of 7.22 percent, including Affordable Care Act costs

• Property tax values increased by 0.577 percent.

Property taxes of $6,212,889 account for 12 percent of revenue but $34,006,551 – 64 percent – will come from state aid and the balance from restricted state revenue and other sources.

C-A spends most of its budget in the classroom. Fifty percent of expenditures – $26,374,088 is budgeted for instruction including salaries.

C-A enrollment has been declining for the most part for several years. A student count of 5184 in the 2007-08 school year dropped to 4,914 in 2008-09; 4735 in 2009-10; 4585 in 2010-11; bottomed out at 4382 in 2011-12 and 4356 in 2012-13 then rebounded to 5342 in 2013-14. The downward trend returned in 2014-15 with 5104 students; then down to 5080 in 2015-16 and 5014 in the 2016-17 school year. State aid is based on the student count.

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