As promised earlier this year, Affton School District has achieved a balanced budget – with a small surplus – for the next school year.
Affton School District’s 2015-2016 budget, approved by the Affton Board of Education on June 16, projects revenues at $29,540,804. With overall expenditures projected at $29,519,620, the district will end 2015-2016 with a projected surplus of $21,184.
Chief Financial Officer Steven Fedchak emphasized that the process used to create the budget this year is different than what has been done in previous years.
“It has been beneficial for our schools to look at their budgets in a different light through zero-based budgeting,” explained Fedchak. “We have been able to be more reflective on our spending and our practices, and we are confident that this snapshot more accurately reflects what we will spend. Now is the time to examine the district’s long-range planning. In July, we will present a five-year projection to the Board of Education.”
Adds Dr. Steve Brotherton, superintendent, “Affton School District has celebrated numerous successes and achievements throughout the school year. Even more impressive is that we have earned these recognitions while maintaining the same budget, roughly $29.5 million, for four years running. Just like at your home, while expenses tend to increase each year, we have faced the need to make adjustments to our budget.”
As was previously reported, at the Affton Board of Education meeting on March 3, 2015, a preliminary budget for the 2015-2016 school year was presented with a potential deficit of $818,954 based on revenue and expenditure numbers known at the time of the report.
“Our largest expense is our investment in human resources, with 75 percent of the budget going toward salaries and benefits. However, through attrition and careful examination of resources, in 2014-2015, we were able to overcome a $620,000 budget differential. Looking forward to 2015-2016, we have been able to reprioritize nearly $1 million in resources to achieve a balanced budget,” explained Brotherton. “While it is not a favorite task of any school administrator to find areas to trim expenses, it is of utmost importance that we ensure fiscal responsibility. On the same hand, it is imperative that we maintain the integrity of instruction in our classrooms. In fact, we are adding classroom teachers to both kindergarten and first-grade in answer to larger classes of students entering Mesnier. We are still funding innovation while managing our resources and living within our means.”