Parents often help fund classroom supplies, field trips, furniture, playground renovations and similar items. Parents and the PTO do not fund the operating budget.
The Operating Fund is funded by a residential tax levies and is used to pay ongoing operating costs for the District, including salaries and benefits. The majority of the Operating Fund (86%) is used for salaries and benefits and is broken down as follows: teachers at 62.3%, support at 17.4%, and administrators at 6.4%.
We have more than a million square feet of interior learning space, and all of our school buildings were constructed more than a half-century ago. In fact, the average age of our nine schools is 71 years. The oldest, Nipher Middle School, was built in 1921, and the “newest,” North Kirkwood Middle School, was built in 1957. The District must constantly maintain and improve our buildings to ensure they are safe and accessible. Approximately $2.5 million a year is needed for HVAC, roofing, resurfacing of parking lots, flooring replacement, improvements to playgrounds and athletic fields, and electrical upgrades, among other needs.
In 1993, the citizens of Kirkwood approved Proposition 3, creating an ongoing funding source specifically dedicated to technology. In the two decades since, the classroom and student resource technology infrastructure has progressed purposefully upon a path from the desktop model (one to five computers in each classroom and computer lab spaces), to the mobile model (multiple laptop carts available throughout the school), to the portable, personal model (student-assigned individual iPads).
iPads are used for instructional purposes in all of our schools. They reduce the number of textbooks and material the district needs to purchase. They allow teachers to customize learning to individual students’ needs.
Very little revenue, but an increase in students.
The average over the past four years has been only $181,388 per year (0.3% of total budget). Any revenue received from new construction does not come close to covering the additional costs (about $12,000 per student) of even one child likely moving into these new homes.
Total KSD revenue has only grown 8% in 10 years, while enrollment has grown by 15% and inflation has grown by 18%.
The property was purchased in 1963 for $61,835. It requires very little upkeep, no taxes are paid for it and it gives student access to outdoor education. Selling the land would be a short-term, one-time gain that would not serve the long-term financial interests of the District.
The financially responsible thing for the district to do is hold on to the property in case a new school is needed in the future. Any tax revenue received from potential housing developments on this land would not be significant to the overall budget and would not cover the additional cost of educating children who would likely move into new homes.