Editor's note: An earlier version of this article erroneously said the 2019-20 general fund balance is $22.67 million. It has been corrected to $2.267 million.

The Jordan Public Schools will receive a substantial increase in state funding after the Minnesota Legislature voted to increased aid to public schools by 2 percent for the biennium.

The agreement lawmakers hammered out in a special session last month will mean an extra $344,167 for Jordan schools for the 2019-20 school year.

"That is very crucial, we rely heavily on our state aid," Jordan Schools Finance Director Amy Hafemann said.

Last week, Hafemann gave the Jordan School Board revenue projections based on an enrollment of 1,915 students and an estimated 13 tuition students. The board approved a preliminary budget that increases spending 3.66 percent for 2019-20. 

Hafemann said the district is projected to end the 2019-20 school year with a general fund balance of $2.267 million and year-end surplus of $20,763. 

Hafemann largely attributes the projected surplus to moving a surplus in the student activities account to the general fund, a change mandated by federal accounting standards this year. 

"If we wouldn't have to bring in that account we would've overspent by about $84,000," Hafemann said.

The student activity fund has $205,000 in projected revenue, and projected expenditures of $100,000, leaving $105,000 that was used to bolster the district's general fund.

Since the student activity funds were moved, the account will be under the control of the school board and transactions for the accounts will be included in the board's monthly financial reports. These accounts will also be audited with the district’s other funds.

The Minnesota Department of Education is still working to bring state guidelines into conformity with the new federal mandate.

"There are still unanswered questions, but I feel it is best if these activity accounts come under the direction of the school board," Hafemann wrote in a report.

Clubs and activities that contribute to the student activities account include the middle and high school drama clubs, special education coffee sales, senior class remaining funds, prom funds, Spanish club, dance club, student council and the LGBTQ club. 

The $18,818 food service fund is the only major fund projected to end the year with a deficit of $555. An increase in lunch fees approved by the board Monday night helped narrow the gap. Next school year, all lunch prices will increase 5 cents, bringing elementary lunches up to $2.65 and middle school and high school lunches to $2.75.

The budget's effect on taxes will be determined before the district's Truth in Taxation meeting this November.

In other school board news:

  • The board approved a staffing agreement renewal with Teachers on Call, a substitute staffing service. Hafemann said the district saved $34,236 last year by using Teachers on Call instead of paying substitutes through district payroll service and using an online absence system. There will be no increase in pricing for a second year of service with the company.
  • The board approved tenure for eight teachers: elementary teacher Britt Flicek; middle school teachers Tatiana Hamer, Ashley Hyatt, Kendra Olson and Jenny Kusske and high school teachers Steven Breckman, Katie McKnight and Margaret Schipper.

"Some of them have only been with us for a year, as you can see, but they've achieved tenure elsewhere. They're up for tenure here, that's how Minnesota law works," superintendent Matt Helgerson said.

Board chairwoman Deb Pauly said the board plans to appoint someone to fill school board member Jesse Erdal's vacant seat at its July 8 meeting. Erdal resigned from the board May 28.

This story has been updated to correct general fund balance figures.


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