Numerous aspects of finances were discussed, including the current revenue and expense situation, as well as projections over the next five. According to the presentation, the district will likely run in the red when it comes to overall spending authority next year if state supplemental aid, which is the amount of money the state provides for general fund expenses, receives a zero percent increase in the 2018 legislative session and one percent in future years.
Pella Schools have built in salary increases annually for staff and administrators to make sure their wages remain competitive. Those salaries account for 83 percent of Pella’s budget–which is consider near average with most public schools, and most of the salary and benefit funding comes from the state. At the meeting, Superintendent Greg Ebeling says if state aid increases remain low in the near future, over a dozen staff members may have to be cut when planning for the 2019-20 school year budget. He says they won’t be able to rely on a retirement incentive package as they did at 2015 to make up a considerable amount of money, as very few staff members are currently eligible.
The board will work on the FY 2019 budget at meetings in December.