When we released the June finance report last week, we included a positive set of numbers and facts in it. We see continued recovery in the revenue streams for education, and it does look like we may actually get out of this year without a revenue inconvenience. We do need to be aware of several different factors that might negatively affect the revenues that are flowing into districts:
- Check the valuations of your district--this is vitally important. There are some cases where oil wells have been devalued, major personal property items like wind energy systems were reduced in value or pipelines were not valued correctly. This is important revenue that you need.
- Check your county's ADA against payments made on county 4-mill and gross production. If you are going to reduce in percentage, you need to make budget changes sooner rather than later.
- When the new state ADA numbers come out, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to check where you rank to see if school land and motor vehicle will change.
- Check your actual class weights and potential WADM changes. These are both important not only for this coming year but for the following years. If you know you are coming off your high year, this is exceptionally important.
- Check to see what your free and reduced lunch, G/T, ELL, bilingual and special ed counts will be. These components will give you extra WADM counts.
Our July chargeable report will include several of these items factored into it. We will have ADA and ADM numbers by rank, and we will also have WADM trends going into the initial allocation.
STATE AID PREDICTIONS
The greatest game in school finance prognostication is to predict what the state aid factors will be. This is like reading tea leaves and thinking you have a clue. We believe the factor will be somewhere around $3,388 depending on the initial WADM calculation. That’s a guess based on the analysis of factors. Our model has had numbers from $3,326 to $3,459 in the most perfect situation, but the most reliable and consistent number when we ran the model was around $3,388 give or take $5/WADM. I realize this sound like a weather forecast, but it is important to remember these numbers aren’t real until after we see the actual WADM and how chargeables are calculated.
One major unforeseen positive that came out of the Supreme Court ruling is Oklahoma schools' credit rating. Moody’s released a report on Friday, June 29 stating schools' credit rating became more credit positive with Supreme Court ruling. The main reason is that State Aid will offset the teacher pay raises. This will have the tendency to charge more interest on items such as lease-purchases, bond issues and other simple debt instruments.