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10/12/2012 6:01:00 AM
Kingman school district posts a budget that all of us can understand
Wanda Hubbard
Wanda Hubbard
BUDGET BLISS
Check out the report for yourself and give Finance Director Wanda Hubbard a call at 753-6392 if you would like to provide feedback or ask questions about the data. Visit www.kusd.org and locate the Popular Annual Financial Report link on the right-hand side of the page. Click the link, download the PDF and enjoy the read.

Ahron Sherman
Miner Staff Reporter


KINGMAN - For the last couple years, Wanda Hubbard, the director of finance for the Kingman Unified School District, yearned to provide a financial report to the community that's understandable to those who aren't extreme accounting junkies.

Her plans turned into reality Wednesday when the district published its Popular Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year that ended June 30. The district is already required to publish a financial report for the Arizona Auditor General and the Department of Education and post it on its website, but it's numerical mumbo jumbo to people who aren't financial experts.

"It's so difficult to understand," Hubbard said. "Even the numbers have numbers."

The financial reports the district is required to publish take time to read through, are hard to understand and are overwhelming to the average person, she said.

But it's important for people in the community to understand how their tax dollars are spent.

"With the popular report, you can spend half an hour and understand what's going on," she said.

Since it is the first time the district has done something like this, Hubbard is inviting feedback from the community. She wants to know what parts are confusing, what parts are missing, what people want to see more of and what people want to see less of.

People call her about the budget all the time. They often don't understand how to formulate their questions because they don't fully understand how it works. This report is a response to the community's need to understand and her need to fully explain.

"This is public money, so the public has every right to know how it's spent," she said. "The goal is to do it every year."

The document lays out the last three fiscal years. At first glance, you can see just how far revenue has fallen in the since fiscal year 2010. Not counting bond or adjacent ways revenue, the district brought in $61,481,057 in revenue from, among other things, local taxes and state and federal resources. In fiscal year 2012, which ended June 30, the district pulled in $53,690,168.

Adjacent ways revenue pays for improvements needed to ensure students have safe access to and from schools, such as sidewalks, roads and traffic signals.

Hubbard doesn't include the adjacent ways revenue when calculating the bottom line because the use of the money is so narrowly defined, but it is included in the report.

As for the overall decrease in revenue, two main factors are at play: fewer students attending district schools and state reductions in funding.

The state funds Kingman Unified schools to the tune of about $5,000 per student on average. The formula for doing so relies on average daily membership, which is quite convoluted.

If a student spends half of his or her time at a district school and the other half at an online school, KUSD receives half of the funding it would receive if the students attended a district school fulltime, Hubbard said.

In absolute numbers, district enrollment has decreased by 471 since fiscal year 2007.

Revenue shrinks

But in ADM terms, the district has lost 1,074 students in that same timeframe.

Take the decrease in ADM and multiply it by the $5,000 average funding per student and you have $5,370,000 less revenue now than in fiscal year 2010.

Then you have the state funding cuts.

Consider soft capital revenue, which is one of three buckets of funding provided by the state and used to pay for student-related capital that has a longer life than one year, such as desks, textbooks and buses.

Though all three of the state's funding mechanisms have been cut, it's soft capital bucket that's almost completely gone, she said.

According to the soft capital funding formula, the district is eligible for $1,416,130 for fiscal year 2013. But because of the cuts, the district will receive $251,000 instead.

As revenue has gone down so have expenditures. Again, not counting bond or adjacent ways money, the district's expenditures have decreased from $56,001,211 in fiscal year 2010 to $54,179,711 in 2012.

The district has increased the size of classrooms, which lowered the number of teachers needed.

Since fiscal year 2010, roughly 30 teaching positions have been eliminated from the district.

Class size, on the other hand, has gone up based on ratios that differ between grade levels. For K-2, the formula is one teacher for every 27 students.

Between 3-5, it's one teacher for every 29 students, one teacher for every 32 students between grades 6-8, and one teacher for every 34 students in high school.

It trimmed its administrative staff as well.

"Across the board, we've had to cut everything," Hubbard said.

Mission Bank
Related Links:
• Kingman Unified School District


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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, October 12, 2012
Article comment by: Just Sayin

Case and Point!
I just looked at the PAFR the school put on their website.
How many "transportation" employees are there? How many "administration" employees are there?
The PFAR states there are 80 buses running daily, which would be at least 80 drivers, each with a bus monitor? If so that is 160. Then how many are dispatching the buses, working on the buses and other misc. transportation employees? Lets just add another 20 in those categories. So 180 people for transportation.
Now how many in administration? I am sure not even close to that. I would dare to say half at best if you are counting all the the schools.
Salaries of the 180 people per year is $1,825,779. Administration doesn't really list the salaries for them, just lumps them with the administrative "costs".
Taking out the dollars just doing the employees % of the budget. Administrative staff is 5% of the budget and transportation is 3% with I am sure twice as many people.

Just Sayin!


Posted: Friday, October 12, 2012
Article comment by: Just Sayin

@ Breakin' My Heart

I feel your pain, I really do. I am on a very fixed income myself and have zero extra dollars for anything besides surviving.

My point is that I am sure there are some people in the District office that make a boat load of money. I am not saying they do not work hard, but I am saying that there should be some form of adjustment there as well. I am sure they haven't taken a pay cut so others doing equally important jobs can survive.
The children are the ones who suffer in the long run. They don't get the education they are entitled to because they are over packed in the classrooms with one person trying to teach, baby sit, mentor, monitor, and more or less raise.


Posted: Friday, October 12, 2012
Article comment by: Warren AO

Breakin' My Heart -

You might want to look over the file Ms. Hubbard prepared. Expenses at KUSD have been declining steadily in the last couple of years (though the district is apparently still over budget), even with Lee Williams.

And yes, they do need the building, moderately-declined enrollment notwithstanding. Those fugly portables outside KHS North stand as testimony to that.

Pretty much everyone's income is fixed, and pretty much all costs are going up. But you're free to find a part of the world where no one wants to educate their children, and stop worrying about paying taxes to schools after you move there. Let us know how it works out.

==

Now, for the article -

'The district has increased the size of classrooms, which lowered the number of teachers needed.'

Well, no, it didn't. The district needs more teachers than it has currently. They were able to cut teaching staff because of classroom size increase, but that's not the same as reducing the number of teachers they need, and it's certainly not conducive to improved education.

I realize that sounds pedantic, and maybe it is - but it's an important thing to note, I believe. Eroding the education we give to our kids is the same as letting our national infrastructure rot. It's a certain course to failure, though the effects won't be felt for a generation.


Posted: Friday, October 12, 2012
Article comment by: Breakin' My Heart

Sorry, but I'm feelin' no sympathy only pain. The public was sold on bond for millions which we the taxpayers are having to pay back. Enrollment is down yet Lee Williams was opened requiring more administrative staff and who utility costs. My income is fixed and all costs are going up. We are having to tighten and retighten our belts. I have no sympathy for tax supported agencies who have spent money like it's going out of syle then cry on the public's shoulders saying "it's for the children." Bullfeathers.

Posted: Friday, October 12, 2012
Article comment by: Just Sayin

This is really tragic for education. The ones who really suffer are the children.
I see you said there was a cut in Administration, was this in the district office or just on the school levels? Would any of the district office administration be willing to take a pay cut to help the children?
I know that transportation often times takes a huge hit when cuts are made as well. This saddens me to think that these people are HAULING the most precious cargo in the country and make so little. They risk so much doing this thankless duty and yet I don't think anyone really looks at that.
Just my 2cents for the day.


Posted: Friday, October 12, 2012
Article comment by: Upset Parent

KUSD is the worst school Ive ever had my 4 kids at, they are all bullied and the principals and boards answer is "we are taking care of it", Well for 3 years now they have been "taking care of it". The schoo s only concern is passing them and not have to deal with it anymore, shoot they will pass you now days with a D average. GREAT JOB KUSD!!! NOT



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