School board approves proposed budgets at recent meeting
On Wednesday, the Evangeline Parish School Board heard from district chief financial officer Amy LaFleur, who shared a breakdown of the 2017-2018 budget and the 2018-2019 budget.
For the 2017-2018 budget, LaFleur stated that the general fund had a surplus of $153,239.73. The CFO called this “absolutely amazing” because the district’s MFP (Minimum Foundation Program) funds, which are dispersed based on enrollment numbers, “decreased by $193,053.00 due to student loss.”
LaFleur then shared that the unassigned fund balance for the 2017-2018 fiscal year was $2.61 million. “This $2.6 million use to be only a hundred and something thousand a few years ago,” said LaFleur. “So, we are still headed in the right direction.”
The CFO then gave a breakdown of several other funds including the parish-wide maintenance fund, Basile maintenance fund and the Basile athletic fund.
In total, LaFleur shared that parish-wide maintenance fund revenues for the 2017-2018 fiscal year were $2.76 million, while expenditures amounted to $3.75 million. LaFleur attributed the deficit to “a decrease in revenue over the last several years,” that totaled $157,771. She also stated that she spoke with Josh Fontenot at the Evangeline Parish Assessor’s Office to verify that the school district had collected all of its money.
LaFleur said, “I got information and we did collect exactly what we were suppose to. It’s just that some years property evaluations are different.”
She also attributed the deficit to the fact that many maintenance projects took place over the last school year. “In my 17 years, I’ve seen trends where every so often you’ll have a year where your expenses are much higher, but it’s just a volume of things that come together to cause this. It’s a lot of little things and then a few big boy projects. With that being said, I don’t think that will be a problem each and every year.”
As it relates to the Basil maintenance fund, LaFleur shared that it had a revenue of $498,353.75, and expenditures of $476,447.64. In total, the Basile maintenance fund had an excess of $21,000 at the end of the 2017-2018 fiscal year.
While its maintenance fund ended with a surplus, the Basile athletic fund found itself with a deficit of $15,800.00 for the last fiscal year. In total the athletic fund had revenues of $80,095.29 and expenditures of $95,902.31.
LaFleur explained the deficit by stating that “every so many years they (Basile High) recondition every football helmet and they buy some uniforms, so about every four years they have a higher than normal amount in expenditures.”
The CFO however then continued, “The overall fund ending balance is right at $133,000.00, which is really good.”
LaFleur also commented on the district’s child nutrition fund, which had revenues of $4.4 million, and expenditures of $3.964 million. The child nutrition fund ended the year with a surplus of $448,442.35, which leaves it with a fund ending balance of $2.184 million. “This is phenomenal,” stated LaFleur. “They have never had that.”
For the entire budget, the total amount of revenues for the 2017-2018 fiscal year was $62,570,678.70, while its expenditures totaled $68,974,423.62.
LaFleur said, “We did have an overall deficit, but a part of that is because construction money came the year before and we were doing a bulk of the expenditures for construction during the past year.”
For the 2018-2019 fiscal year, LaFleur shared that they are anticipating revenues of $64,144,067.52 and expenditures totaling $68,974,423.62, with an estimated 745 full time employees.
LaFleur then gave a breakdown of the general fund, which they estimate will have a total of $47,175,263.00 while they are anticipating expenditures in the amount of $47,179,705.03. Although they anticipate spending more than their revenues, LaFleur said, “We have made strides in our travel items that we are cutting right now, so we are hoping to make that up easily.”
During the meeting, School Superintendent Darwan Lazard complimented LaFleur on a job well done.
The proposed revised 2017-2018 budgets and the 2018-2019 budget were accepted by the board, who will now be required to set a date and time to have a public hearing on these items.
During the superintendent’s comments, Lazard shared that drug sniffing dogs had been sent into schools across the parish. He said, “We hit all schools at the same time, and I am please to share with you that the dogs did not find anything.”