- The Broward County School Board voted to reallocate $7.7 million to its reserves in anticipation of a recession
- The school district seeks to maintain the level of presently offered services and mitigate the effects on students should inflation continue to rise
- District officials stated that additional funds can be generated through the elimination of already-vacant job positions
The Broward County School Board recently allocate $7.7 million to its financial reserves in anticipation of an economic downturn.
Per the school district, the proposal was put to a vote in order to “continue to deliver the same level of services to Broward County Public Schools students, employees, and the community.”
The School Board agreed to set aside the funds in reserves in order to mitigate the negative implications on schools and students. The move reallocates General Fund dollars to the Unassigned Fund Balance.
“During recent budget workshops, our Deputy Superintendent of Operations shared that many analysts and financial experts are predicting a slowdown in our economy, which could impact future revenue for the School District,” said School Board Chair Torey Alston. “By thinking ahead and implementing strategic budget decisions to provide financial stability for the District, we proposed and approved to set aside these funds in reserves to be used solely for this future impact.”
The measure comes as the nation is embroiled in financial uncertaintly, with economists still grappling whether to forecast a recession or not.
With inflation at a four-decade high, schools are facing tighter budgets while still being required to provide students with adequate learning materials, posing a forefront issue for school boards across the state.
“Each adverse [inflation] report and each adverse development in the outside world implies the Fed is going to have to do more in order to bring the situation under control,” David Wilcox, a former Fed staffer who now works at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, told the Financial Times.
According to Public School Review, public schools receive funding through various means including local property and gas taxes. With continued interest rate hikes, local property devaluation would lead to a lower recoup of property tax subsidization.
Operating on an annual budget approaching $3 billion, Broward County Schools’ unassigned fund balance holds roughly $50 million, according to district documents.
District officials state that they can generate additional safety net funds through various streams including the elimination of presently vacant positions.