Understanding our General Budget

  • Understanding our General Budget

    Each year the business experts of ISD 728 prepare an operating budget that supports Minnesota's eighth largest school district. As with any "business," the school district must "live within its means," meaning that by each June 30th (the end of the fiscal year) the district is not "spending beyond its means."  Consecutive national awards and objective third-party audits can attest that the business experts of ISD 728 are managing the $156 million annual budget wisely and in the best interests of the taxpayers.

    What is an operating budget?

    Every successful business (and make no mistake a school district is managed as a business) is a record of past decisions and spending plans. The ISD 728 budget shows our priorities and as a communications document, it tells our constituents, the taxpayers, about our priorities and goals.

    A school district budget can certainly be difficult to understand and even more challenging to describe, but behind the volumes of mandatory reporting forms, accounting procedures and jargon are some basic principles that can help bring clarity for those who develop school district budgets and for those who want to understand them.

    Funding (Revenues)

    The majority of our funding (revenues) come from the State of Minnesota; currently we receive 82 percent of our funding from the state.

    Nearly 13 percent comes from local taxes, which include voter approved measures.  We only receive 2 percent from the Federal Government, which is below what was promised and what is needed to address mandated programs. 

    A smaller portion of our funding comes from investments and other local revenue.

    revenues chart

    Invest (Expenditures)

    Appropriately, the vast majority (83 percent) of our budget is dedicated to educational support.

    Keeping sites and facilities updated is important, failure to fix or replace outdated or worn-out materials, etc., now can and normally will cost more in the future.  As of 2019, we dedicate 11 percent of our budget to our sites and facilities. We dedicate only 4 percent of our budget to Administration. This figure is at or below state and national averages. Another 3 percent is dedicated to support staff with the balance directed to fiscal and other fixed costs programs.

    Similar to school districts throughout the nation, the majority of our expenditures go for staffing (i.e., salaries and benefits). Nearly 81 percent of our district's budget supports salaries, wages and benefits for approximately 2,000 employees.

    About 13 percent of our budget is spent on a variety of purchased services (i.e., services the district uses to accomplish its mission).

    The district consistently practices best practices, which includes spending on  supplies and equipment, which covers 2 percent of the budget. Capital expenditures, which are facility related, covers 4 percent of the budget with the remaining less than 1 percent dedicated to other expenses.

     expenditures chart budget chart