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Budget changes for 2021-22


Special to The Press

Parkland School District Business Manager John Vignone recently reported on two budget categories which reflect significant changes over the previous year.

These include debt financing, which is expected to decrease 13.42 percent in the 2021-22 budget, and tuition for charter/cyber schools, which is anticipated to increase 15.63 percent.

Vignone said district representatives started planning four years ago with a team from Public Financial Management to work out a plan for borrowing and staff before construction of Veterans Memorial Elementary School.

“We knew a spike of dollars would be needed for teachers,” Vignone said. “We wanted to flatten that spike out so no big hits would come.

“We had savings from refinancing and other options from PFM to level out the peaks and valleys.”

He said $1 million was saved in a recent year through bond refinancing which was reserved to pay toward the new building and staff.

“That’s total pure savings,” Vignone said.

“We could bridge the gap from where we were four years ago to where we are now.

“The plan worked really, really well. I’m happy about that.”

In another matter, Vignone addressed the budget section which includes tuition for charter/cyber schools, entity budget cost, special education transportation, and payments to other education institutions.

The category increased by $2,149,855, or 15.63 percent over the previous term.

The business manager said the costs of tuition for charter/cyber schools continue to rise.

“This year, we’re seeing a major increase in cyber,” Vignone explained. “We’re constantly trying to catch up.”

The district pays $13,166 for every traditional student and $28,291 for every special education student attending charter/cyber classes.

The fees are sent to the charter/cyber institutions.

Districts throughout the state are obligated to make these payments for students who choose to attend charter/cyber schools.

In the 2021-22 proposed budget, $15,907,857 is listed for the charter/cyber and other tuition classification, and $14,070,791 for debt and financing costs.

In other budget categories, salaries are projected at $91,030,087 for 2021-22, a 3.93-percent increase; benefits at $58,205,554, a 21.92-percent increase; and professional services $7,903,134, a 6.75-percent increase.

The board and administration will take a close look at the financial data with updates at the annual budget seminar on April 30.