Budget Hearing for 2015-16 School Year
Superintendent Patrice Johnson and Business Administrator John Larsen presented the proposed 2015-16 budget of $433.1 million to the Board of Education during the District’s annual budget hearing. The Board adopted the 2014-15 final amended budget and adopted the 2015-16 proposed budget. The Board authorized any budget adjustments necessary to reflect funds received from the Certified Tax Rate. The Board also authorized the District to continue the current fund structure of the Non K-12 Fund.
Dr. Johnson reviewed the Board goals and thanked the Board members for their diligent work in aligning resources to address their stated goals and commended Mr. Larsen and his staff for their outstanding work in preparing the budget. She summarized four main points of the 2015-16 budget which were: 1) JSD has a balanced budget; 2) there was no tax increase; 3) there was no increase in class size; and 4) that our negotiated agreements with employees had been fulfilled. Dr. Johnson also noted that in setting the budget for the 2015-16 year, the Board had maintained a keen focus on student achievement, instruction, professional development and personnel compensation. Mr. Larsen then reviewed the following aspects of the 2015-16 proposed budget:
- WPU: The Utah State Legislature increased the weighted pupil unit (WPU) value from $2,972 to $3,092 (4.0% increase). The Board will spend a projected $6,129 per pupil.
- Enrollment: Student enrollment is projected at 51,679, a decrease of 127 students. However, enrollment is expected to increase again in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years.
- Assessed Valuation: The District’s assessed valuation is projected at $15.1 billion in 2015 -16, flat from an estimated $15.0 billion in 2014 -15.
- Employee Compensation: The budget does include employee compensation increases. Overall, the District saw a 6% increase in insurance premiums.
- New Schools: Jordan School District plans to build two new elementary schools. A new elementary will be built on approximately 10 acres in Daybreak’s Creekside Development. Another will be located in Herriman on 12 acres in a development one block south of Copper Mountain Middle School. The goal is to have the schools open for the 2017-18 school year. The new JATC South campus in Riverton will open in the 2015-16 school year.
- Charter School Funding: The state increased the charter school funding subsidy from $1.9 million to $2.8 million.
- Patron Comments
- Jennifer Boehme, JEA President, said teachers appreciate being compensated for their loyalty and the Jordan Education Association (JEA) supports the 2015-16 budget that was presented.
Recommendation to Approve Policy
The Board approved revisions to DP326 Sick Leave-Classified and DP375 Vacation Schedule for Administrative Personnel.
Recommendation to Approve Negotiated Agreements
The Board approved tentative negotiated agreements for Classified and Licensed employees.
- Board Comments
- Matthew Young attended the Finance Committee meeting where they discussed financing options available to construct additional schools. He said it was determined that a general obligation bond is the best and least expensive option, which will engage the entire community in the process. Mr. Young complimented John Larsen and his staff for their work on the 2015-16 budget but said the District must change some things pretty significantly to make sure we are investing in instruction dollars.
- Jen Atwood recognized West Jordan Elementary for meeting its goal of becoming a Leader-In-Me Lighthouse School and said she was honored to speak at the Valley High School’s commencement ceremony.
- Kayleen Whitelock attended concerts at Elk Ridge Middle and West Jordan High and was impressed with the level of skill in the music that was preformed. She also participated in the South Jordan City parade and attended graduations at Bingham High and South Valley, which she said were great.
- Susan Pulsipher said she loved attending the graduations and witnessing the culmination of 13 years of hard work. She said at schools like River’s Edge, graduation is an extraordinary event for the students involved. She also attended an elementary school choir concert where she was impressed by the great work that is being done with students and music.
- Janice Voorhies said she visited a number of schools in her area and it is always a delight to talk with faculty about the progress they are making. She also attended graduation ceremonies and said she hopes to see graduation rates continue to increase every year in the District. She described graduation as the “foundation of liberty.”
Closed, Study Session
In closed session, Board members discussed personnel, potential litigation, and negotiations. In open session, the Board reviewed four policies, discussed student achievement and reviewed a future Jordan District brochure.
– Sandy Riesgraf, Director of Communications
Susan Pulsipher, President – Precinct 3
Janice L. Voorhies, Vice President – Precinct 6
Kayleen Whitelock, Secretary – Precinct 4
Jen Atwood, Member – Precinct 7
J. Lynn Crane, Member – Precinct 1
Richard S. Osborn, Member – Precinct 5
Matthew Young, Member – Precinct 2