Follow the Fund Balance

Follow the Fund Balance: How a new committee will support our financial “glidepath”
Posted on 09/22/2022

It’s a new fiscal year, and Tahoma School District is paying close attention to our budget, our reserve fund balance, and how we’re prioritizing resources to enhance student learning. By expanding staffing, student support, and updating curriculum to improve our instructional practices and reinforce recovery services, we’re mindful of the impact that these costs have on our fund balance. Moving forward, we plan to expand community engagement to help guide the school board on our trajectory toward a healthy, sustainable budget, or what we call our “glidepath.” Below is information on our multi-year financial forecast, as well as the introduction of a new budget ad hoc committee that will help inform the board’s budget-related decision-making.

Increased expenditures in 2022-23 to support student achievement

General fund expenditures are increasing an estimated 13.2 percent in 2022-23. This is attributed to added personnel, wage increases, inflation costs, facilities upgrades, and teacher training and instruction materials. 

There are key areas where expenditures are expected to exceed revenue, with the intent of enhancing learning for all students. This includes some personnel additions, and it also includes important resources like teacher professional development, new curriculum, reading and math assistance programs, and special education technology. Learn more about these expenses and how they will benefit our students.

Where is the district’s fund balance headed?

The fund balance is estimated to end at approximately 22 percent of our general fund budget in the 2021-22 fiscal year (final 2021-22 actuals will be presented to the board in October). This essentially means that the District’s “bank account” is 22 percent of our total revenue for the fiscal year. General fund expenditures are projected at $161.36 million in 2022-23. Our goal is to gradually reduce the fund balance reserve to 10-12% of the general fund annual budget and then maintain a healthy balance long-term (as determined by the school board and the district’s Financial Services Dept.).

The figure below shows our fund balance trajectory, which is currently expected to be reduced to 5 percent by 2025-26. This projection includes renewals of the existing Technology and Educational Programs & Operations Levy, if they were renewed at the current rate*. More information about the current levies is available on the TSD Levies Information webpage and the Tahoma School District Budget 101 webpage.

Projected "glidepath" for District fund balance

*There are not currently propositions for levy renewals or new levies, and any new propositions would not necessarily match the amount of the existing levy costs.

Forming a new ad hoc budget committee

To help the District calibrate its “glidepath” and achieve its ideal fund balance, we are forming a new ad hoc budget committee that will provide feedback to the school board in its budgetary decision-making. The group will be tasked with bringing questions and considerations to the board around spending decisions, while staying aligned with our community and district goals (Tahoma CARES).

The group will be formed this month and will meet periodically between Nov. 2022 and Feb. 2023. A subcommittee will develop a conclusion of the group’s findings in early 2023. The committee will include school board representation, Tahoma students, community members, parents/guardians and district staff. The district is seeking 10 parents/community members to join the committee, including 2 members from each of the 5 board director regions. Interested parents/guardians and community members should complete THIS ONLINE FORM by Friday, Oct. 21, 2022 at 5 p.m. PT.

Do you have additional budget questions? Learn more at Tahoma School District Budget 101, or send us an email at [email protected]. Thank you for your partnership and your engagement in our district’s important budget process!

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