This week we will discuss six major school district expenses. Last week we had a friendly discussion on how we fund our school programs. If you read the last post you already know that we essentially rely on local property taxes and state aid to fund our schools.  We also know that you cannot raise local property taxes more than two percent each year. During the 2009-10 budget process many school districts suffered a

huge decrease in state aid. This forced many districts to cut a significant amount of valuable staff. In Hamilton, approximately ninety teachers were let go. Revenue is fundamentally unreliable.

So the next obvious question is how and where is the money spent?

Six Major School District Expenses (2012-13 School Year)

Salaries and Benefits $ 139,476,902

Special Education Private Tuition and Transportation$ 16,301,622

School Based and Special Education Operations $ 8,730,219

Transportation $ 8,287,031

District Operations $ 7,326,248

Maintenance and Operations $ 2,191,496

The largest school budget expenses are employee salaries and benefits.  These costs make up about eighty percent of the budget.  Employee salaries and benefits are guaranteed by employee contracts and these large expenses increase every year. It is critical to understand how to contain major school budget expenses.  The problem is that revenue is capped (it could decrease) and your largest expenses in your school budget increase every year.

Since we know how our schools are funded, we will explore creative ways to contain some of these significant school district expenses. School districts need to be sure that over time expenses in your school budget do not exceed projected revenues. This is a major problem nationwide and the potential solutions are the purpose of this website.

*Source: Hamilton Township School District General Operating Budget 2012-13 School


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