Hopefully, you saw the Press Release from Jeffco Schools yesterday regarding the budget. If you didn’t you need to read it as these cuts having lasting implications for our students, schools, and staff. Pay special attention to the items we highlighted for you in red. Read it below:
Board Approves 2020/21 Budget Amid Uncertainty for Coming Year
Golden, CO (June 17, 2020) – The Jeffco Public Schools Board of Education voted unanimously to adopt the $1.3B 2020/21 budget at their board meeting this morning. This term’s budget work included adjusting for a 5% reduction in state funding, considerations for using CARES Act funds, and expectations for changes and adjustments to be made in the fall.
As a result of the Colorado School FInance Act, Jeffco Public Schools’ revenue will decrease by 5%, or $30.6M (after a $3.4M pass-through to charters, preschool, and innovation schools). This is a per-pupil funding decrease of $662, moving Colorado’s per-pupil funding amount from $9,181 to $7,891. With this year’s increase of the budget stabilization factor, it is at its highest since its inception and the cumulative loss to Jeffco Public Schools, 2010/11 – 2020/21, is $861M.
For the 2020/21 budget, the district’s net expenditures will decrease by $16.4M, with a total spend down of reserves of $21.3M. Because Jeffco Public Schools has received CARES Act funding, one-time funds for specific COVID-19-related uses defined by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), the district is able to redirect approximately $20M to set aside to help balance next year’s budget and move 2019/20 COVID-19-related expenditures to be covered by CARES Act funds.
“We appreciate the Jeffco Public Schools Board of Education passing a budget and taking important steps toward reopening our schools in the fall,” said Dr. Jason Glass, Superintendent and Chief Learner. “Much work remains to be done and these are challenging circumstances, but the steps the board took were important and necessary.”
At this time, the district is still in negotiations with both the Jefferson County Education Association (JCEA) and the Jeffco Education Support Professionals Association (JESPA). All negotiation teams have focused on refining current and proposing new language related to work conditions for employees. The teams have monitored and will continue to monitor the financial landscape, with the intention to use the clarity in the adopted budget to proceed to compensation discussions. The teams will work this summer to finalize agreements.
Going forward, there are many unknowns that may result in revisions to this adopted budget in the fall, including actual cost to restart school, official enrollment, rescissions from the state, Gallagher Amendment impacts, and continued COVID-19-related closures. In addition, reductions will be needed in the absence of continued funding supports from the government, like the CARES Act, in sequential years should the health crisis continue.