MONROE CITY SCHOOLS
P.O. Box 4180
Monroe, Louisiana 71211-4180
Please Note - Additional Materials will be added as provided.
Budget Year 2015-2016
Monroe City School Board serves approximately 53,000 citizens of the 31.6 square miles of the City of Monroe. The district is divided into seven educational districts, each served by a representative of the Monroe City School Board. The district consists of twelve elementary schools, three junior high schools, three high schools, and one Type I Charter school.
Monroe City School Board’s proposed budget for 2015-16 reflects the district’s goal to “Tracking World Class” education. The district continues to provide the necessary resources to uphold its commitment to providing educational opportunities to the student population; to monitor and improve the quality and performance of the school system; to assume a leadership role; to employ staff that is dedicated to the maintenance of an outstanding school system; and to emphasize continued improvement by the citizenry for the benefit of the young people of the district.
The budget reflects the Board’s following goals:
- Interpret the educational needs and aspirations of the community through the formulation of policies which stimulate the learner and the learning process;
- Manage the school system in accordance with statutory requirements;
- Provide leadership in each school in order that the goals and objectives of the school system can be effectively carried out;
- Maintain two-way communication with the various publics served by the schools in order to interpret public attitudes, to identify policies and procedures of the schools, and to encourage public involvement with the understanding of the schools; and
Due to the economic challenges that the district continues to face, the budget will be closely monitored to ensure that the Board’s goals are met within its financial capacity.
The documents provided in the following budgets will illustrate in further detail the monetary resources put in place to provide a world class education to the students of population.
Minimum Foundation Program (MFP)
The Minimum Foundation Program formula that is adopted by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) and approved by the Legislature, determines the cost of a minimum foundation program of education in all public elementary and secondary schools and helps to allocate the funds equitably to school districts. The Minimum Foundation Program is the largest source of revenue for Monroe City School Board and its General Fund. After all required mandates are met; Monroe City School Board has the flexibility to spend the funding to meet the needs of its schools and students.
Because MFP is directly tied to student enrollment, Monroe City School Board continues to face the challenge of it continuous decline in the district’s student population. Louisiana Department of Education obtains student enrollment counts twice during each fiscal year. The initial count of the district’s student enrollment is submitted for October 1st, and the second count is submitted for February 1st. Any fluctuation in the enrollment count from October 1st to February 1st, requires a mid-year adjustment reflecting either an increase or decrease of MFP funding as determined by the changes in enrollment. Below is a chart illustrating the decline in student enrollment for the last five years, based on the February 1st enrollment for each fiscal year.
Source: Louisiana Department of Education: Minimum Foundation Program Library (louisianabelieves.com)
During the 2013 Legislative Regular Session, the governor and legislature allocated $69 million for public schools as part of House Bill 1 (HB1). This amount is equivalent to a 2.75% increase in the Minimum Foundation Program that the State of Louisiana failed to allocate for several previous years. The failure to accolade the additional funds created a more difficult challenge as retirement cost and healthcare cost continued to increase.
During the 2014 Legislative Regular Session, the 2.75% equivalent from 2013 was incorporated in the Minimum Foundation Program by increasing the state share from $3,855 to $3,961. The 2014-15 formula includes a provision requiring that teacher pay raises resulting of legislative appropriation in 2013 be as least sustained for 2014-15. The 2014-15 formula also includes additional funding for Supplemental Course Allocation, career development, and the cost of processing visas for foreign language immersion teachers.
During the 2015 Legislative Regular Session, the 2015-2016 MFP Resolution (HCR 18) faced legislative challenges due to the financial crisis that the state of Louisiana is currently facing. The MFP Resolution passed both the House Education Committee and the House of Representatives; however, it stalled in the Senate Education Committee and did not get approved as presented by BESE. The ”new” dollars included in the 2015-2016 MFP Resolution would have increased the base per pupil amount by 1.375% from $3,961 to $4,015 (half of the 2.75% tied to the increases from 2013); increased the High Cost Special Education fund by $5.4M; and increased the Supplemental Course Allocations by $2.6M for approximately $44.2M.
As budget negotiations continued, funding equivalent to the $44.2M in “new” dollars was inserted and approved by the HB1 Conference Committee; however, there are contingencies and requirements that must materialize before these funds are accessible to LDOE. The estimated amount of $20M of these funds cannot be expended to LDOE prior to January 1, 2016, and the statutory dedications out of the unclaimed winnings of the Louisiana Lottery Proceeds Fund must also be determined prior to expending. An estimated amount of an additional $16.2M is also contingent upon revenues generated by various tax measures. The following chart illustrates MFP funding for the last five years.
Sales & Use Taxes
Sales tax revenues are the second largest source of revenue for Monroe City School Board. In 1968, the of Ouachita Parish authorized the Monroe City School Board and the Ouachita Parish School Board to jointly levy and collect a ½ cent sales and use tax. The net proceeds of the tax are to be allocated and prorated between the two school boards annually on the basis of average daily membership for the preceding school year. The sales and use tax revenues received by Monroe City School Board are designated and allocated in the following manner:
- 88% - Certified Salaries
- 12% - Classified Salaries
In 1994, the voters of the City of Monroe approved the levy of ½ cent sales and use tax. The net proceeds of the tax are to supplement salaries and benefits of certified teachers and other personnel and to provide additional funds for instructional activities. The sales and use tax revenues received are designated and allocated in the following manner:
- 60% - Certified Salaries and Benefits
- 10% - Classified Salaries and Benefits
- 30% - Instructional activities
In 2001, the voter of the City of Monroe approved a 1 cent sales and use tax for additional support. The sales and use tax revenues received are designated and allocated in the following manner:
- 55% - Instructional programs, technology programs, and maintenance and operations
- 31% - Certified Salaries and Benefits
- 14% - Classified Salaries and Benefits
The following chart provides the total Sales and Use Tax revenues for the last five years, including an estimate for June 30, 2015.
Estimated Sales Tax Revenue for 2015
Ad Valorem Taxes
Ad valorem, or property tax, revenues are the third largest source of revenue for Monroe City School Board. The Sheriff of Ouachita Parish bills and collects property taxes on behalf of Monroe City School Board using the assessed values determined by the tax assessor of Ouachita Parish.
In November 2013, the voters of Monroe, Louisiana authorized the issuance of bonds not exceeding $58.8 million, for Monroe City School Board. The bond proceeds will be applied to the specific projects set forth in the approved Capital Improvement Plan. A debt service millage will be levied each year for the payment of these bonds. The following chart illustrates the ad valorem tax revenue for the last five years, including an estimate for June 30, 2015.
Estimated Ad Valorem Tax Revenue for 2015
Salaries and benefits account for 80% of the district estimated expenditures. Below is a chart that illustrates the estimated expenditures for Monroe City School Board’s major operating funds, which included the following:
- School Food Service
- General Fund
- 1968 Sales Tax
- 1994 Sales Tax
- 2001 Sales Tax
- School Food Service
The following chart will focus on the General Fund, Sales Tax Funds and the School Food Service Funds, which represent the district’s major funding sources.
This proposed budget also provides the detail of other revenue sources that Monroe City School Board utilizes to support its goals and objectives.