Summit School District Sees Revenue Grow as School Enrollment Grows


The Summit School District benefits from approximately $1.2 million in windfall revenue, as increased enrollment means more funding per student.

The school board voted unanimously on Jan. 27 to approve a revised 2021-22 budget that included additional revenue from increased enrollment. The nearly 5% jump in enrollment from 2020-21 to 2021-22 generated $999,400 in unplanned revenue for the district, chief financial officer Kara Drake said at the meeting.

An additional $175,000 came from increased state funding for English language learners and an additional $13,581 in small revenue changes were added to the district budget.

The money allowed the district to increase its budgeted revenue to $43,864,824 while maintaining its expense budget at $44,682,377. Acting Superintendent Roy Crawford said the budget changes are all “good news” for the district as it continues to navigate its way through the pandemic.

Windfall revenue, combined with savings from understaffing, helps the district fund increased school supplies. The district originally budgeted $177,000 for supplies in its general fund, but found that an additional $100,000 for science and $450,000 for middle and high school English/language arts materials were needed. .

The district had 43 open positions as of February 6, each of which contributes to district savings. That money helped cover material costs, Drake said.

Although the district is able to cover the financial costs of the additional supplies, some council members were concerned that the numbers seemed too high.

“We’re very fortunate to be in such a good position with our growing student enrollments, but, wow, that feels a bit like a blind spot,” said board chair Kate Hudnut.

The increase in spending for the curriculum is largely timing-related, Drake said. In years past, the district would choose materials to purchase in the spring and then order them in the summer. While this process allowed the district to know how much the items would cost, it often meant that teachers didn’t get the materials until a few days before school started.

Now, the district selects materials mid-year and orders them in the spring, giving teachers time to familiarize themselves with the materials before they start using them.

Crawford said the board may want to reevaluate its process for ordering supplies when discussing the budget for the 2022-23 school year.

“We’ve had in-depth conversations about it because – I’m being frank – it’s not OK,” he said.

The council’s decision to revise its 2021-22 budget to reflect increased revenue is part of an effort to be more transparent with district finances, Crawford said. The revision was recommended by a finance committee, made up of three community members, who all felt it was important that budget changes were reflected throughout the year.

“They unanimously felt that we should do a revised budget for more transparency (and) to make it clear to the community,” he said. “They were very attached to that.”


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