Reasons for Considering Reorganization--Financial
March 07, 2012
While the main reason for our district to consider reorganization with the A-C Central District is to maintain and grow our current curriculum, there is a financial component that impacts the PORTA districts ability to maintain those programs. One common denominator that affects both curricular offerings and revenue is student enrollment. Simply, if student enrollment declines to a level that leads to courses with 10 or fewer students enrolled, maintaining that program becomes very expensive. Revenue is impacted by student enrollment through the General State Aid formula. Enrollment is an important part of the overall equation that determines the amount of revenue the State of Illinois sends to the PORTA District. Basically, as enrollment decreases revenues from the State decrease as well. Another part of the General State Aid equation is local property wealth or Estimated Assessed Valuation (EAV). Again, as property values increase, more local wealth is established and as part of the General State equation, revenue from the State of Illinois decreases. We here at PORTA find ourselves in a unique situation with increasing property values and decreasing enrollment. This unique situation reduces General State Aid revenue in an accelerated fashion and places the financial burden of educating students squarely on the local taxpayer shoulders. For instance, since 2009 the PORTA District has lost $800,000 in General State Aid in the Education fund, while increasing local revenues by $375,432. The loss of $425,000 in Education Fund Revenue equates to nearly ten and a half (10 ½) first year teacher’s salary and benefits. With diminishing fund balances and reductions in future revenues the PORTA District will be forced to release staff in an effort to maintain a balanced budget. When staffing is reduced the first programs the district must consider reducing are those with the fewest students enrolled and then those programs which are not required for graduation.
How does consolidation affect the financial status and curriculum of the newly formed district? To begin, adding an additional 140 A-C Central students to the current 340 PORTA High School students allows for a greater opportunity to fill classrooms to capacity. Coupled with reduced staff and administration as a means of efficiency, the newly formed district would be in a better position to offer programs. Additionally, a consolidated district would also received incentives from the State of Illinois for completing a consolidation effort. In the case of an A-C Central/PORTA merger, the newly formed district could receive approximately 1.6 million dollars based on current staffing and salary figures.
If done correctly, a consolidated district has many opportunities to offer the families of the affected districts. Curricular offerings can be maintained, inefficiencies in staffing and administration can be rectified and facilities could be utilized to their fullest potential. A newly consolidated district comprised of A-C Central and PORTA School Districts could take any savings associated with becoming more efficient and 1.6 million dollars in State Level incentives to strengthen fund balances insuring a successful beginning to a new era for the families of A-C Central and PORTA.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns please feel to call or email any Board of Education Member or Superintendent Brue at email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow information about the PORTA Schools on Twitter @PORTAschools