District OKs $52.3M balanced budget

A $52.3 million district budget for 2016-17 was approved last week by the Oxford Board of Education.

The district is projected to end the upcoming fiscal year in the black with an excess of $215,546

An overall fund equity of $6.3 million – approximately 12 percent of the district’s total expenditures for the coming year – is projected, according to Assistant Superintendent of Business and Operations Sam Barna.

Some of the highlights of the budget include an increase of $120 per student from the State Aid Foundation Allowance. Barna estimated this increase will bring an additional $678,480 to the district.

Student enrollment in the district of 5,654 students remained flat.

“We’re being very conservative with our (FTE) estimate, for budgetary purposes. Obviously, some districts are shrinking. We think we’re going to grow, but we’re not completely certain until we see the count number in the fall, so we’re going to just going to continue being conservative and say we’re going to remain flat,” Barna said.

The district will also see a decrease of 0.84 percent in Michigan Public School Employee Retirement System (MPSRS) contributions in the coming year.

“The amount that the district has to send to the retirement system based on our employee payroll is coming down for this year only,” said Superintendent Tim Throne. “That retirement number is so huge, even when you’re talking a fraction of a percent, it makes a big difference for the district.”

Throne says the decrease in district MPSRS contributions will only apply to the 2016-17 year, increasing again to the current rate in following years.

Expenditures included in the budget were $45,000 for the addition of a district-wide police liaison officer and $210,000 towards a water main project to take place along Wildcat Drive during the summer months.

The water project is a shared effort between the district and Oxford Township to allow the Lake Villa Manufactured Home Community to connect to the municipal water system.

The budget also includes the addition of four full-time employees to the district.

Added to the staff will be one counselor at Oxford Middle School, one special education teacher and two teachers for the Oxford Virtual Academy.

The instructional staff portion of the budget increased around 26 percent from last year.


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