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Fiscal Year ‘25 Budget, Support Staff Tuition Reimbursement Approved by Board

The MRH Board of Education has approved the District budget for the fiscal year (FY25) which begins July 1, 2024. Approval came at the second of two virtual budget workshops on June 25 and June 27. 

The budget contains a deficit of just over $1.8 million and a projected fund balance of 28.4%, deliberately reducing the District's reserve funds. Chief Financial Officer Chris Hoelzer explained that this reduction is a strategic decision to increase employee pay to ensure the District is competitive within the region. The fund balance remains well above the state-required minimum of 3%. 

Total budgeted operating revenues for FY25 are $27,450,040; total budgeted expenses are $29,269,444. Salaries are expected to increase nearly 7%, benefits by 8.6%, purchased services by 7%, and supply costs by 2%. 

Following the June 25 workshop, Board members requested that administrators take another look at areas for cost savings and present a revised proposal on June 27, at which time the Board gave approval with two of seven members not able to attend. The full presentation is available on the MRH website.

Factors impacting the budget include:

  • Rising inflation rates and planned increases in interest rates

  • The increasing costs of goods and services, coupled with relatively flat revenue

  • State funding (While Missouri received significant federal funding through the American Rescue Plan Act, these are temporary resources.)

  • Job market (Wage growth has not kept pace with inflation. This can squeeze household budgets, potentially limiting families' ability to support local ballot measures or fundraising initiatives that benefit schools.) 

Next steps in the budget process include examining strategies to increase revenue. 

  • Examine potential revenue due to expiring tax-increment financing projects 

  • Explore no tax increase bond issue and which large projects it could fund 

  • Calculate required operating tax levy increase to sustain the district

In other Board action on June 25, a plan to provide tuition reimbursement for MRH support staff received a green light. The plan originated during regular meetings between support staff leaders and administrators. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Shonda Ambers-Phillips pointed out that tuition reimbursement for support staff provides opportunities to increase their skills and knowledge, leading to increased productivity and job satisfaction. In addition, tuition reimbursement aids in the District's ability to attract and retain staff, reducing turnover costs. The outlay for the academic year will not exceed $10,000.