Budget & Facilities Workshop
March 16, 2023: Budget & Facilities Workshop
As part of our district's commitment to open and transparent communication, we share this summary of the school board's Thursday night work session. If you do not already receive such updates in your inbox, you can sign up now for our email list.
Thursday's Top Takeaways
The Fayette County Board of Education received extensive reports and additional budget requests for 2023-24. Based on that information and guided by the goals and objectives of the district's Strategic Plan, board members will set priorities to guide Superintendent Demetrus Liggins and his staff in developing next year's spending plan.
Board members will also prioritize the criteria they will consider when deciding the order of completing proposed renovations and new construction in the District Facility Plan.
The opening presentations featured:
- Five-year general fund revenue projections
- An update on the district's safety tax investment plan, with accompanying budget requests
- District's current financial state and best practices going forward
- Five-year student enrollment projections
District leaders from various departments pitched additional spending proposals for the board's consideration:
- Human Resource Optimization -- HR seeks to develop a highly effective and culturally responsive workforce through commitments to employee equity, relational experience, professional development, and wellness supports.
- Expansion and Alignment of Visual & Performing Arts -- The director of Fine Arts advocates increased staffing, new instruments, and engaging experiences for students in music, theater, dance, visual art, creative writing/literary arts, and humanities.
- Hanover Technology Survey Results and Recommendations -- The Office of Information & Analytics, described as the "central nervous system" of the district, requests more technical support staff to handle the expansive growth of data, devices, and related systems.
- Certified Salary Compensation Study -- The district aims to provide more equitable pay, higher starting salaries for teachers, and assurances that Fayette County Public Schools is competitive in the marketplace.
After the presentations, Superintendent Liggins explained that the board members each have 1,000 total points to assign to the funding requests, according to their own priorities. Staff will then create a plan implementing "the will of the board," as Chair Tyler Murphy said. He noted this tool merely guides the superintendent and his team in developing a tentative budget, and the final action of the board is this fall's approval of the actual budget.
Separate from general funds for the district's budget are restricted funds, which go toward capital projects. Liggins and Chief Operating Officer Myron Thompson set the stage for the board to prioritize the 2021-25 District Facility Plan (DFP), which outlines proposed renovation projects and new construction.
Objective criteria include enrollment growth and demand, facility age, maintenance projects, portable classrooms, and statewide facilities ranking. Subjective criteria include temporary locations / innovative spaces and stakeholder engagement.
Each board member again has 1,000 points to assign to the seven criteria, which will indicate which factors are most important when they consider the DFP projects this spring.
What Happens Next?
Superintendent Liggins asked the board to finish their two prioritization exercises by 5 p.m. Monday, March 20.
The Office of Public Engagement will collect input from staff, families, students, and community members on the order that District Facility Plan projects should be completed.
This spring, Liggins' team will review current initiatives and new budget requests, and prepare a salary schedule for 2023-24. A tentative budget is due to the Kentucky Department of Education by the end of May, and a final version by Sept. 30.