Yukon School district’s estimate of needs tops $70M

The Yukon School District’s finances appear to be in good shape, according to an estimate of needs released Tuesday to the district’s school board.

Jim Fenrick, the district’s chief financial officer, said the report, which was expected later in the month, arrived earlier that day.

It shows the district’s cash-fund balance, or its reserves, at the end of the 2018 fiscal year was $9,868,540, while the building fund had a carry-over of $1,211,573. The nutrition fund had a balance of $1,325,686.

It also showed that the estimate of needs for the district’s general fund for the 2019 fiscal year is $70,079,877. The building fund’s estimate of needs is $3,220,196 and the nutrition fund’s estimate of needs is $3,711,772.

Fenrick pointed out that the district is expecting to see a large increase in revenue from ad valorem tax because of the completion of several new gas-powered turbines at the Oklahoma Gas and Electric Mustang Power Plant near Lake Overholser.

In addition, the district will see an increase in funding from the state. Much of that money will be used to cover pay increases approved earlier this year for teachers and staff.

Yukon is expected to see an increase of $4.2 million in state aid and about $3 million in other revenue source, according to the report.

The estimated budget for the district is $70 million. However, Fenrick said that is the legal limit that Yukon could spend if it spent every dollar it had available.

“We won’t spend over that,” said Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth, “because it would be illegal.”

According to the report, the district expects to receive $2,097,732 in revenue from gross production taxes, $1,521,966 from the county 4 mill ad valorem taxes, $3,196,619 from motor vehicle taxes, $1,180,897 in revenue from state school land earnings, $33 million in state aid, $1,722,315 from funding for individuals with disabilities and $1.4 million in what is described as non-revenue receipts.

In addition, there is $607,777 in district sources of revenue, $327,355 in county apportionments, $211,799 in funds for state vocational programs, $884,398 in funds to benefit disadvantaged students and $51,927 in federal vocational education funds.

The district also has $11,525,997 in liquid assets in its sinking fund accounts, the report shows.

Fenrick said the valuation for the district in property taxes increased by $50 million this year. Last year, it was $373 million. This year’s valuation is $423 million.

That brings in about $15 million for the district. However, only $14.3 million is budgeted. That is about 90 percent and follows a state law, which limits the budget to 90 percent of the revenue received the previous year.

Last year’s maximum budget was $58,904. This year’s, based on anticipated revenue, is about $70 million.

“Things look great for Yukon. As things go for school districts across Oklahoma, we’re sitting pretty good,” Fenrick said.

Yukon schools to abandon paper agendas

Beginning with its October meeting, the Yukon School District will no longer print paper copies of its board meeting agendas, but instead will rely on technology to notify residents about its meetings.

In 2017, an amendment was made to the Oklahoma Open Meetings Act that allows public bodies to post their agendas electronically.

Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth said the district will begin using that system with its October meeting.

Patrons can sign up to automatically receive the agendas and minutes by subscribing at the district  website, yukonps.com.

“That way we can save some trees and people can follow along as they watch us on Facebook,” Simeroth said.

The district had planned to begin using the new system for the September meeting. However, it failed to send out the agendas.

Simeroth said the issue was not with the district’s website or the Oklahoma State School Board Association’s site, but rather occurred at the Microsoft level.

He said the system should be working properly for the October meeting.

The district began using Facebook Live to broadcast its meetings earlier this year.

In other action, the board began 30 days of public comments on changes to the graduation requirement policy and its personnel leave program. Both policies are expected to be approved at the October meeting.

Also the board:

  • Set a special meeting for noon Sept. 18 to sell bonds;
  • Approved several out-of-state travel requests;
  • Approved a new activities fund account for the School Spirit program;
  • Approved a list of new employees, which included several people who have been hired as substitute teachers.

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