I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Revenue Estimating Conference Points to Continued Austerity

Our Tallahassee Consultant/Lobbyist, Mixon and Associates, regularly sends analysis and research papers on areas of interest to the school board. Yesterday afternoon, a point paper was sent regarding our budgets for the next year. It is an analysis of the revenue estimating conference report from last week.
While the report points to some areas of encouragement, namely that we look to be on track to have an additional $300Million in General Revenue statewide over the January forecast, there is also concern that other areas of the state budget will be clamoring for additional revenue—potentially leaving K-12 FEFP vulnerable to static funding. From the report:
“This is an austere picture. It is made more difficult because many other budget areas, such as the state university system, had significant impacts in the FY 2012-2013 budget, while $1.063 billion were used to fill FEFP budget holes. Those other budget areas will compete for new resources in FY 2013-2014. In addition, the Legislature recently has been reluctant to allow revenue increases to be realized from local school property taxes. If the FEFP received an increase of $407.3 million, it is uncertain that the cost of student growth and other increases in state required expenses would be covered by that amount.”

The report goes on to illustrate the effects of the recession on funding levels:
It may be instructive to see what has happened to General Revenue since the start of the recession. The table below shows some comparisons.

Fiscal Year and Report Date Recurring Funds Available Non-Recurring Funds Available Total Funds Available

FY 2006-2007

July 12, 2007 $26.6549 Billion $5.3952 Billion $32.0501 Billion

FY 2007-2008

July 12, 2007 $27.5685 Billion $3.6052 Billion $31.173.7 Billion

FY 2012-2013

May 23, 2012 $24.1042 Billion $1.949.0 Billion $26.0532 Billion

During the same time GR funds were decreasing, total local funds available in the FEFP dropped from $9,405,486,287 in the Final Conference Report of April 28, 2008 for FY 2008-2009, to $7,625,433,481 in the Final Conference Report of March 6, 2012 for FY 2012-2013.

The full report with lots of additional information is here

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