# Arkansas School Finance Manual

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1 Arkansas School Finance Manual

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6 School Finance Manual Purpose-The purpose of the manual is to provide guidance and resources for school districts to become better informed and enable fiscally responsible practices. As laws, rules and procedures change, the information contained in this manual may not reflect current regulations. This manual is not fully comprehensive of the rules, regulations and funding sources available for districts. As a result, this manual should only be used as a reference. Audience-School Personnel, School Board Members, General Public, etc 6

7 Assessment and Local Taxes Primarily, school districts are funded through a combination of local and state taxes. The Real, Personal and Utility taxes comprise three main categories. Real, Personal and Utility Assessments are added together to create the Total Assessment for a school district. Real + Personal + Utility = Total Assessment 7

8 Assessment and Local Taxes School District X has the following assessment information: Real Assessment \$50,000,000 Personal Assessment \$20,000,000 Utility Assessment \$75,000,000 Millage Rate 40 mills This would produce a Total Assessment of \$145,000,000. To calculate the amount of taxes, multiply the Total Assessment by.001 and then by the millage rate. This number will produce the amount of taxes expected (at a 100% collection rate). \$145,000,000 X.001 X 40 = \$5,800,000 8

9 Assessment and Local Taxes To calculate the 98% amount, multiply the expected taxes by 98%. \$5,800,000 X.98 = \$5,684,000 Determining the amount of taxes short of the 98% of the URT, the total millage rate (40) can be divided in two categories: 25 mills for URT and 15 mills above the URT. The anticipated taxes are calculate by prorating the 25 and 15 mills. 25/40 X \$5,684,000 = \$3,552,500 (URT) And 15/40 X \$5,684,000=\$2,131,500 (Mills above URT) 9

10 Assessment and Local Taxes In looking at the local URT (\$3,552,500), the district is funded this amount even if local taxes do not produce this amount. This is done through the 98% true-up. Assume, the district had an actual tax collection of \$5,300,000, it would produce the following amounts: URT: 25/40 X \$5,300,000 = \$3,312,500 And Above the URT: 15/40 X \$5,300,000 = \$1,987,500 Since the district did not collect 98% of the URT (\$3,552,500), the difference between the 98% of URT and actual taxes collected (\$3,312,500) is calculated: \$3,552,500 - \$3,312,500 = \$240,000 10

11 Assessment and Local Taxes The actual assessment and collection rate is unique to each individual district. For good financial forecasting, it is recommended to look at historical data (Past assessments, past collection rates, etc ), current trends (New building, abandoned homes, new or moving industry and businesses, etc ), collection rates (Obtained by comparing past tax collections to assessments) and other pertinent information to make more informed financial decisions. 11

12 Assessment and Local Taxes The amount of local funds collected is divided by the number of students to derive the amount of local money collected per student. The difference between the local amount per student collected and the foundation funding is then paid by the state to the district. For example if a district collects \$1,500 through local taxes per-student and the foundation funding amount is \$6,584, the state would pay the district \$5,084 per-student in foundation funding. The state foundation funding is provided to districts beginning in August and occurring through June on a monthly basis. 12

13 Funding Matrix The funding matrix is based upon a 500 student enrollment school. In the matrix, the amount of per pupil funding can be divided in smaller categories thus representing revenue for a school. 13

14 Funding Matrix FY15 FY16 FY17 Matrix Calculations School Size K = 8% of students Grades 1-3 = 23% of students Grades 4-12 = 69% of students Staffing Ratios K P:T ratio = 20: Grades 1-3 P:T ratio = 23: Grades 4-12 P:T ratio = 25: PAM = 20% of classroom Total Classroom Teachers Special Ed Teachers Instructional Facilitators Librarian / Media Specialist Guidance Counselor & Nurse Total Pupil Support Personnel SUBTOTAL Principal Secretary Total School-Level Personnel School-Level Salaries Teacher Salary + Benefits 63,130 63,663 64,196 Per Student Matrix Expenditure 4, , ,325.6 Principal Salary + Benefits 99,012 99,012 99,012 Per Student Matrix Expenditure School-level secretary 40,031 40,031 40,031 Per Student Matrix Expenditure School-Level Salaries Per Student 4, , ,603.8 School-Level Resources Technology Instructional Materials Extra Duty Funds Supervisory Aides Substitutes School-Level Resources Per Student

15 Funding Matrix Carry-Forward Operations & Maintenance Central Office Transportation Carry-Forward Per Student 1, , ,424.9 Foundation Per Pupil Expenditures 6,521 6,584 6,646 Adjustments Matrix Foundation Per Student 6,521 6,584 6,646 \$ Increase per ADM % 2.0% 0.97% 0.94% Enhanced Funding Per Student Matrix Foundation + Enhanced Per Student 6,521 6,584 6,646 Categorical Program Funding FY15 Cost FY16 Cost FY17 Cost ELL ALE 4,383 4,471 4,560 NSLA ,033 1,042 1,051 1,549 1,562 1,576 PD

16 Categorical Funds 4 Categories: ALE, ELL, NSL, and PD. This is in addition to foundation funding. There is a limitation to the amount of carry-over categorical funds a district can have at the end of a fiscal year. Districts that carry over larger than allowed amounts may be required to surrender those unspent excess funds. Districts must expend a minimum of 85% of the current year NSL funding. Concerning all categorical funds, the total aggregate balance shall not exceed 20%. 16

17 Categorical Funds ALE While there are many requirements to ALE funding, it is important to understand that a student must be in the ALE environment for a minimum of 20 consecutive days. In addition, there are other criteria that must be met. An ALE program must comply with the rules set forth by ADE and A.C.A et seq. For the school year, ALE funding is set at \$4,471 per full-time equivalent (FTE). An example of ALE funding is as follows: Student Number of Days Enrolled in ALE A 89 B 178 C 178 D 12 Since student D was not enrolled the required 20 consecutive days, funding is not available for that student. The FTE can be calculated by dividing the number of days each student was enrolled in ALE by the total number of days in the school year (typically 178) and adding those together. (89/178) + (178/178) + (178/178) = 2.5 Multiply the FTE (2.5) by the ALE funding amount (\$4,471). 2.5 X \$4,471 = \$11,178 17

18 Categorical Funds ELL In the school year, the amount of funding per ELL student was \$324. For example, if a district had 247 ELL identified students, the amount of funding would have been \$324 X 247 = \$80,028. ELL funding is considered restricted and must be used on allowable expenditures. Funding for this category occurs during the current school year and funds may be carried over from one year to the next, subject to limits.. 18

19 Categorical Funds NSL NSL funding is based upon the percentage of students eligible in a district for free/reduced lunches. The NSL funding percentage is calculated from the October 1 enrollment report (Cycle 2) from the previous year. The funding amount per-student can be found in the table below: Percentage of students eligible for free/reduced lunches Funding per-student for the school year 0-69% \$ % \$1, % \$1,562 19

20 Categorical Funds PD To calculate the total PD funding, the previous year 3 Quarter ADM is multiplied by the PD amount. For example, if a school had a 3 Quarter ADM for of 629 students, the PD funding amount would then be multiplied by 629. \$26.67 X 629 = \$16, There are restrictions on PD funds. Rules and laws should always be referenced. 20

21 Federal Title Funds Title I, part a - Improving the academic achievement of the disadvantaged. The purpose of this title is to ensure that all children have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a highquality education and reach, at a minimum, proficiency on challenging State academic achievement standards and State academic assessments. 21

22 Student Growth Funding For example, if a school district experienced the following growth: 1 st Q ADM Current Year 2 nd Q ADM Current Year 3 rd Q ADM Current Year 4 th Q ADM Current Year 1,500 1,600 1,550 1,700 Assuming the previous year 3 Quarter ADM (as prescribed in the state aid notice) was 1500, the district would be eligible for the following funding. ( )(1/4) + ( )(1/4) + ( )(1/4) + ( )(1/4) = Number of growth students = Number of growth students X per-student foundation funding X per-student foundation funding 22

23 Declining Enrollment Funding Example, if a district experienced the following during the FY15 year: FY13 3 Q ADM FY14 3 Q ADM FY15 3 Q ADM ( )/2 900 = X FY15 per-student foundation funding 50 X \$6,521 = \$329,200 This would be considered the Declining Enrollment Funding for the FY15 school year. 23

24 Student Growth/Declining Enrollment Funding Student Growth Funding is considered unrestricted. No district can receive both declining and student growth funding. Furthermore, if a district receives Special Needs Isolated Funding then the district receives the larger amount of the following two: Declining Enrolment Funds The sum of Student Growth Funds and Special Needs Isolated Funding. 24

25 E-Rate The E-rate program is a discount program designed to help schools (and public libraries) pay for technological infrastructure and services. It is funded by the Universal Service Fee, a small fee added to every phone bill in the U.S., and is administered by the Universal Service Administration Company (USAC) on behalf of the FCC. In order to qualify for the program, applicants must solicit bids from service providers that meet their tech needs through an open and competitive bidding process. Then, upon awarding a bid, applicants must follow up with USAC to show actual costs incurred. There are a number of pieces of paperwork that accompany every step in the process. Successful school applicants will be eligible for a discount on their actual costs that is roughly equal to the NSL percentage within their 25 schools.

26 Other Topics: Bonded Debt Assistance EETF Miscellaneous Funds 26

27 Special Education Catastrophic Early Childhood Residential Title VI Part B Maintenance of Effort-How to Calculate and How to Reduce 27

28 Other Topics: Child Nutrition Better Chance Medicaid ARMAC Isolated Funding 28

29 State Aid Notices: School Districts Preliminary: Late July ~ Early August Preliminary: Late February ~ Early March Preliminary: Late June ~ Early July Final: Late August ~ Early September Open Enrollment Charter Schools Preliminary: August Preliminary: Late February ~ Early March Preliminary: Late June ~ Early July Final: Late August ~ Early September 29

30 Annual Statistical Report (ASR) 30

31 Annual Statistical Report (ASR) Rankings Ranked by Per Pupil Expenditures Ranked by ADA Ranked by ADM Ranked by K12 Licensed FTE Ranked by Average Salary K12 (Classroom) Licensed Ranked by Licensed FTE Ranked by Average Salary Licensed FTE 31

32 Calculating Carryover Amounts The amount of necessary carryover varies by district. Some of the factors to consider when evaluating carryover include: Staff Payment Schedule Interest & Bond Payments Tax Revenue Revenue Sources Schedule 32

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