Schools on track to end year in black

Oxford’s school board received good news at a Feb. 7 meeting, when Assistant Superintendent of Business and Operations Sam Barna reported on the 2016-17 General Fund Amended budget – Oxford Schools is currently anticipated to end the fiscal year with a near $18,500 increase in the general fund’s fund balance.

In revenue, federal funding increased more than $248,000 from last year’s budget.

Following an FTE increase of 221 students and a $120 increase per pupil, the district also saw a $2,414,811 total increase in state revenue.

Recent changes to the Oxford International Program (OIP), which required all second and third-year international students to start attending classes at Rochester College rather than within the district, saw a 7.7 percent decrease in local revenue (a total loss of nearly $513,000).

On the expenditure side, the amended budget showed a 35.72 percent decrease in costs associated with OIP.

“Because of the lower FTE in the program, we also have lower expenditures,” added Barna.

The budget also showed a 13.13 percent increase in the operations and maintenance category. Barna cited the installation of a new irrigation system at Oxford High School, along with the board’s recent approval of security devices throughout the district for the increase.

The amended budget also allocated $400,000 of the general fund to be transferred to a capital projects fund, of which $215,000 has been approved to be used towards Lakeville and the Oxford Middle School water main projects.

The project will connect the Lake Villa Manufactured Home Community along Lakeville Rd. to the municipal water system, which will run through both district properties, allowing both schools to connect to the township water system.

Oxford Schools also saw a projected $356,249 (12.38 percent) increase in support services expenses, following the additions of an OMS counselor and a police liaison officer to the district.

The amended budget increases the anticipated end-of-year fund balance to more than $8.4 million, which is 15.22 percent of the budget.

Overall, Barna said the district has a “good, strong fund balance,” and that he anticipates there will be further changes to the budget before the end of the fiscal year.

The school board will receive the final budget amendment in June, then receive the proposed original budget for 2017-2018 shortly afterward.


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