The Atlanta Public School’s Budget Committee met this morning to review an updated budget for FY15. CFO Burbridge indicated that the revenue forecast had been increased from $610 million to $633 million – a 3.6% increase over the previous forecast. The revised FY15 revenue target is also $38 million or 6.3% higher than the projected revenues for FY14.
The administration also revised its FY15 expenditure request to $658 million, leaving a $25 million deficit that would be covered with General Fund reserves. The revised FY15 expenditures amount to an increase of $63 million or 10.6% over spending in FY14.
In addition, the administration announced that projected FY14 revenues increased to approximately $595 million and would be balanced for the current year. As such, no General Fund reserves are being used in the current fiscal period. The administration anticipates that the ending General Fund balance will be at approximately $83 million.
The Budget Committee will meet next Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. and they will likely approve the budget as it stands. Immediately following the Budget Committee meeting there will be a full Board meeting to discuss it and to then accept the Budget Committee’s recommendation.
There will then be at least four public hearings on the proposed budget prior to the final adoption by the Board.
I am going through all the numbers now and will be reporting on them Division by Division over the next week. On a preliminary basis, the increase in revenue is a very good thing. I want to spend some more time on reviewing the expenditures as they appear to be very high.
My sense is that administration and the Board are missing an opportunity to pass a budget with revenues and expenditures at the same level – i.e. a balance budget. Additionally, many of the Board members indicated during the recent campaign that they would be fiscally prudent and look to eliminate deficits. They now have the opportunity to do so – the question is – will they get tough with a Superintendent that has one foot out the door?
As I said, there will be lots more to come.
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