Enrollment factors into school budget

By Tara Brandl

A projected decrease in enrollment played a key roll in the preliminary budget for 2019-2020 at Tracy Area Public Schools, which was presented to the District No. 2904 School Board on Monday.

In May 2019, TAPS graduated 65 seniors. Enrollment predictions call for just 42 incoming kindergartners for the 2019-2020 school year. The decrease of 23 students weighed heavily on the preliminary budget presented by Supt. Chad Anderson.

“Be aware that this year (we) will finish at a balanced budget,” Anderson said. “Because of the declining enrollment — which we all knew was coming — we can’t graduate 65 and bring in 45 and not expect to lose revenue. We’ll have to talk about options for that as we move closer.”

Major budget impact items:

Student Enrollment

Enrollment is predicted to decrease for the 2019-2020 school year. This decrease in enrollment changes the weighted student adjustment count (WADM) by 25.42. The WADM for the 2018-2019 school year was 768.22, while the predicted WADM for 2019-2020 school year is 742.8. In addition, students in grades K-6 are weighted at 1.0, while students in grades 7-12 are weighted at 1.2. Therefore, with the smaller class sizes expected for the 2019-2020 school year and the lower number of students weighted at 1.2, TAPS will receive less funding per student.

State of Minnesota Formula Funding:

The district will see an increase in state aid from $6,312 in FY19 to $6,438 in FY20, an increase of $126. The total increase in revenues over FY19 and FY20 is 2%.


Voters had approved an increase in the current referendum of $570.59 to $760 for a net change of $189.41 starting in FY19. This resulted in an additional $148,120/year. With the declining enrollment numbers, the referendum amount received in FY19 was $583,847.20, however the referendum amount for FY20 will be $577,170.46. Referendum amounts are contingent on enrollment numbers, making the amount for FY20 less than FY19.

Salaries and benefits

Employee costs for salaries and benefits in 2018-2019 were $6,839,195. For the 2019-2020 school year, employee costs are estimated to be $7,063,505, an increase of less than 1%.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.