At a Jordan School Board meeting earlier this year, Jordan Public Schools Finance Director Amy Hafemann provided a revised budget for the current 2020-2021 year.
Even with the addition of $670,000 in CARES funding and $81,000 from SW Metro, increases elsewhere in the budget due to expenses incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic and the payment of teachers for their work on the Jordan Virtual Academy led the district to project it will overspend by $157,000 by June 30, Hafemann said.
Funding from CARES, the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund and the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund have masked a larger deficit, said Hafemann.
At a March 8 meeting Hafemann presented projections for the 2021-2022 year, where the district is projected to overspend again, this time by $790,000.
This number is subject to change, and is based on current enrollment numbers and the assumption there will be no state aid available for the district.
However, it does raise questions about what can be cut in order to maintain a positive fund balance in the coming year.
At a special meeting held March 22, the board discussed recommendations to cut the budget for 2021-2022 based on annual enrollment and staffing processes and needed budget reductions.
A total reduction of $861,533 from key expenditure areas including district-level administration, school-level administration, teachers and instructional support and student support services would help stabilize district finances.
Other efficiency areas include the continuation of CARES-funded curriculum and adjustments to nutrition services, special education and activities.
Superintendent Ranae Case Evenson said the district will continue to look at budget efficiencies moving forward.
Additional components will be finalized at the board's upcoming April 12 meeting.
The final budget will be prepared in May, and at the June 7 school board meeting the budget will be finalized.
"Our common goal is to support our kids. No one wants to make budget reductions at any time," Case Evenson said.
Case Evenson thanked staff for their efforts throughout a difficult year and expressed regret that some of them would be cut.
"We are a very close-knit school district," said Case Evenson. "Every person in this district matters. All of their contributions matter."
Still, she pointed out, the district has a dual responsibility to have efficient operations and make the hard decisions.
Board meetings are live-streamed for public viewing on the district's YouTube channel. They can be found at bit.ly/3dnFhlm.