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Board Approves Balanced Budget for 2019-20

June 26, 2019

The Lindbergh Schools Board of Education voted on June 26 to approve a balanced budget for the 2019-20 school year with $77.3 million in operating revenues and $126,795,458 in total expenditures, including debt service and new Prop R construction.

This budget accomplishes three key district goals by allocating more funding to programming for students, professional learning, and employee compensation. The district accomplished these goals by adopting a hybrid zero-based budgeting process, examining expenditures line-by-line to find efficiencies and reduce waste. That analysis for 2019-20 yielded $314,366 in savings by creating these efficiencies.

"This budget was created using a philosophy that we will work to allocate as much money as possible toward student programs, professional learning and salaries," said Superintendent Dr. Tony Lake. "It’s an overall change in mindset about how we build a school district budget, one that allows us to closely examine how every dollar is spent."

During the Board of Education’s budget workshop on April 23, Chief Financial Officer Joel Cracchiolo worked with board members to explain how budget priorities are determined and ensure that they reflect the board’s established goals and objectives.

2019-20 Budget Development Goals

  • Address the personnel, facility and supply demands of growing student enrollment
  • Maintain reasonable class sizes with defined class size matrix 
  • Implement a new more competitive teacher’s salary schedule
  • Provide salary increases for all employee groups
  • Maintain a competitive employee benefit package
  • Present a balanced budget for Board of Education approval

In addition to adopting the hybrid zero-based budgeting approach, the district is also implementing monthly budget amendments as needed and staffing guidelines that, combined with enrollment projections, will allow for better, more efficient planning. In addition, the Finance Advisory Committee, formed in 2018-19, will continue to meet monthly during each school year. This committee includes patrons, administrators and board members who provide feedback on the budget each month.

The 2019-20 budget also includes funding for ongoing facilities improvements, which will be guided by a Facilities Planning Committee that includes district residents, employees, administrators and board members. In April, the Board of Education voted to adopt the 2019-20 collective bargaining agreement and salary schedule for Lindbergh teachers, successfully concluding the 2019 negotiations cycle between the Lindbergh NEA and the district’s bargaining teams. This year’s budget efficiencies, combined with an increase in revenues, resulted in a new salary schedule that provides more competitive salaries for all teachers.

Lindbergh’s local blended tax rate is estimated at $3.88 for 2019-20, which includes an estimated  45 cent operating rollback to hold taxpayers harmless. This rate is composed of the operating rate, which pays for day-to-day expenditures, and the debt service rate, which pays for principal and interest on debt for capital improvements. Based on current AV data estimates which will  not be final until late September, the district will roll back its operating tax rate by 45 cents to hold taxpayers harmless for a 17 percent average increase in assessed valuation of property. Missouri state law requires school districts to roll back the tax rate when assessed valuation increases by more than the consumer price index.  In addition, voters approved Prop R in April, a $105 million no-tax-rate-increase bond issue that will not increase the debt service tax rate of .833 cents and will fund renovation of LHS and safety improvements districtwide.