‘Due Diligence’ Keeps Personnel Costs in Check

During his September report to the Board of Education, Treasurer/CFO Matthew Prichard said that revenues and expenditures are paced as projected for the second month of the new fiscal year.

The biggest highlight of an otherwise typical report is casino monies, he said. Last year, due to COVID-19, casinos closed and revenues to schools plummeted, he said. This year it’s a different story. Casino revenues are up thanks to the end of COVID-19 restrictions for the industry and perhaps a surge of guests at casinos, the Treasurer added.

Mr. Prichard also shared Graphic of personnel costs showing they are steadya graphic showing a side-by-side comparison of revenues and expenditures since 2017.

“Our revenue continues to decrease due to deregulation, the closure of a power plant, and devaluation of property. The district is preparing for yet another power plant closure. However, the district’s expenditures stay moderate and within the range of inflation each year,” he said.

In a separate chart, Mr. Prichard showed trends for personnel costs, which is the biggest expense for any school district. In 2018, the district’s salaries for staff exceeded $15.1 million. If the district would have continued to operate with a business as usual mindset, that cost could exceed $16 million. However, due to staffing changes those costs were contained. By the end of the Fiscal Year 2022 personnel costs are projected to be $14.4 million.

Graphic showing historical general fund expensesSuperintendent Tracey Miller thanked Mr. Prichard for his “outstanding” visuals.

The district just finalized employee contracts and everyone was treated fairly, he said. Yet, human resource costs are down, even with an increase in salaries and benefits.

“We’re giving great due diligence whenever we have a new hire,” he said. “We review the position to determine if it’s needed, if we could do better, or if we could be more efficient.”

Within the last few months, the district has consolidated several positions saving costs and improving efficiency. We will continue to look at new and better ways of doing business.

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