||Frequently Asked Questions
How do schools receive their funding?
The State School Fund Formula distributes state and local revenue based on “Average Daily Membership” (student enrollment) in Oregon schools, with extra weight added for such things as poverty, second language students, and Special Education needs.
This distribution is determined by the state Legislature and attempts to provide equal funding for all students statewide. The state formula includes local property taxes and other local revenue in determining the amount distributed to each district.
My property taxes are going up. Doesn't that mean our schools will get more money?
A: No. When local property assessments rise and more proceeds are produced, the state Legislature considers that when it allocates funds across the state on a per-student basis. As local property taxes rise, the amount allocated from income taxes is lessened so that all students in the state are allocated the same amount.
Q: How much of my property tax money goes to fund school operations?
A: The amount of property tax given to school operations cannot be greater than $5 per $1,000 valuation based on 1991’s Measure 5. For instance, if your house has an assessed value of $200,000 the amount of tax which goes to schools is capped at $1,000. Further tax limitations were approved by Oregon voters in 1998 (Measure 47 and 50), resulting in a current permanent Junction City District property tax rate of $4.5604 per $1,000 valuation, or $912.08 for property valued at $200,000.
Q: What is Fund Balance? How would the Fund Balance compare with a budget at home?
A: The Fund Balance is the balance of the Revenue minus Expenditures for one year. The Ending Fund Balance on 6/30/07 will become the Beginning Fund Balance for the next school year that begins on 7/1/07. Oregon School Boards Association recommends that a school district balance be between 5% and 10% of the total General Fund budget. This could be compared to a household making a net of $30,000/year having $1,500 to $3,000 in their savings account.
Junction City School District’s General Fund Beginning Fund Balance on 7/1/06 was $1,499,219. This is 10.16% of the total 2006/07 budget of $13,934,824.
Q: When can we be certain of how much money will be in our Ending Fund Balance this year?
A: State funding is based on Average Daily Membership weighted or ADMw. Because funding is based on how many students are enrolled and attending every day, we are not fully certain how much money we will receive from the state until the May payment. Additionally, two large expenditures are made in June of each year: our yearly workers compensation payment and our annual insurance payment.
We will not be certain of our Ending Fund Balance until the year is closed. We are required to estimate what this balance will be when we prepare the budget for the next year (April). Our estimate should be very close after we receive the May payment from the state.
Q: How low has this Balance been in the past?
A: On July 1, 2003 the Beginning Fund Balance was $510,660 (4.6% of that year’s budget of $11,107,479). Anticipating a very low balance in 2003, we had taken out a short-term loan of $300,000. Without this money our Beginning Fund Balance on 7/1/03 would have been $210,660 (or 1.9% of that year’s budget).
Q: What is the difference between Contingency and Unappropriated Ending Fund Balance in the budget document?
A: A district budgets in the Contingency Function to set aside money for expenditures that are unforeseen when the budget is adopted. This allows our district to spend money on expenditures that might happen during the school year that were unknown when the budget was prepared. (The 2006/07 budget was prepared in February, March, and April of 2006).
Money budgeted as Unappropriated Ending Fund Balance cannot be spent, but must be part of the Ending Fund Balance. Contingency that is not spent will also become part of the Ending Fund Balance.
Q: Explain the impact of PERS (Public Employees Retirement System) on the schools.
A: The district pays its portion of PERS costs, which is 16.97% of salary for Tier I (employees hired prior to 1/1/96) and Tier II (employees hired after 1/1/96 and before 8/29/03) and 12.19% of salary for Tier III (employees hired on 8/29/03 and after). Per contract, the district also pays the employees’ share of PERS, which is 6% of salary. Non-contract employees, such as substitutes, pay the employee 6% PERS.
The PERS rate is set by the PERS Board every two years. These rates will change on July 1, 2007. Early estimates are that the Tier I and Tier II rate will be 17.64% and the Tier III rate will be 19.48%. The 6% employee rate will not change. Currently 1/3 of our employees are Tier III.
Participation in the Public Employees Retirement System is mandatory for Oregon schools.
Q: Why does our school district spend such a high percentage of its funds on salaries?
A: In 2006/07 we budgeted 74% of our General Fund for salaries and benefits. Education is a service industry: its product is produced by personal relationships between teacher and student, support staff and teacher, administrator and student. While we continually look for ways to reduce costs, we would not want to remove the human element from our schools.
Q: How many students, teachers, administrators, and other staff are there in Junction City Schools?
A: As of October 1, 2006 total enrollment 1852 students: Territorial Elementary has 132 students, Laurel Elementary has 552 students, Oaklea Middle School has 522 students, and Junction City High School has 628 students, and there are 21 students attending alternative schools per Individual Education Plans.
We employ 97.75 FTE licensed teachers; 80.5 FTE other staff including custodians, maintenance workers, secretaries, and educational assistants; and 7.0 FTE administrators. Of these, 90.75 FTE licensed teachers, 53.59 FTE other staff, and 6.76 FTE administrators are budgeted in the General Fund, all others are budgeted in Special Restricted Funds.
Q: Are we increasing administrators?
A: Currently we have 7.0 FTE administrators (Superintendent, High School Principal, High School Assistant Principal, Oaklea Middle School Principal, Oaklea Middle School Assistant Principal, Laurel Elementary Principal, and Territorial Elementary Principal/Special Programs Director.) At various points in the past we had a full-time administrator to serve as Special Programs Director, and have had some extra administrative time assigned to serve as part-time principal at Laurel Elementary. In 2001/02 our district had 7.5 FTE administrators and a licensed teacher at Laurel served as Dean of Students to assist the Laurel Principal. We no longer have a teacher serving as Dean of Students at Laurel. Our School Board has been discussing the need for additional administrator time in our district.
Q: What does FTE mean?
A: FTE is an acronym that stands for “Full-Time Equivalent”. It represents the full-time equivalent for a group of employees. For example, two half-time custodians equal one FTE.
Q: Is there a minimum length of the school year?
A: Yes, the state sets the requirement for class time/school year for Oregon students.
Q: What is the Budget Committee?
A: The Budget Committee is an advisory committee made up of the seven member School Board and an equal number (seven) of appointed Junction City citizens. This committee conducts public meetings to hear the budget message, review, and approve the budget proposed by the budget officer (Superintendent).
Q: How can the community tell if Junction City School District is doing a good job with the money?
A: As with any business, the best indicator of good value is the satisfaction of community. Our community includes many different interest groups: parents, businesses, and government agencies. It is sometimes difficult to meet everyone’s demand. The Board of Directors is charged with the responsibility of balancing the various wishes of the community with established program guidelines.
Total Budgeted General Fund Revenue (per budget with adjustments for 7/10/06 State School Fund Estimate increase and anticipated additional bank interest): $12,926,448
Anticipated General Fund Expenditures (per budget with adjustments for current staff): $13,084,455
General Fund Beginning Fund Balance (actual): $1,499,219
Anticipated General Fund Ending Fund Balance on 6/30/07: $1,341,212 (this will change as we receive updated information throughout the year).
Estimated General Fund Expenditure per child enrolled in Junction City: $6,831