Hopkins School budget shows slight surplus

Two percent formula increase exceeds expectations, adding $204,000 for future financial needs

By Gabby Landsverk

The Hopkins School Board approved the final 2017-18 budget for the district, June 20, accounting for more funding than expected from the State Legislature, which approved a 2 percent increase to the per-pupil funding formula.

That higher-than-expected increase, said John Toop, district director of business services, will result in an additional $204,000 in state funding for the district in fiscal year 2018 and approximately $410,000 in 2019.
“That is funding above our initial projections,” he said. “That will result in the revised budget.”
While the additional funding was reflected in the budget, it has not yet been allocated, Toop explained, and will be transferred to the internal service fund, used as a buffer to help less the impact of anticipated operating levy adjustments.
“We’re forcing a balanced budget because we have a slight surplus but we’re going to need that for fiscal year 18-19,” he said.

Toop added that the projections indicated that the enrollment numbers for the coming year appeared very close the revised estimated approved by the board, a positive sign for building an effective budget.
“I think we’re in good standing as far as where we’re headed with our enrollment numbers, at least what we’re looking at on a projection basis.”

The board thanked Toop for the work spent on the district’s budget book, encompassing hundreds of pages of the district finances.
“I appreciate how conservative you are, because then we’ve got a little bit of breathing room.” Boardmember Betsy Anderson said to Toop and his staff. “In the end it pays off. I just marvel at the smart, smart people in the district that put this together.”