Higley USD governing board approves revised budgets worth $128.1 million

Higley USD governing board
The Higley USD governing board, from left: Michelle Anderson, Vice President Jill Wilson, President Michelle Reese, Tiffany Shultz and Amy Kaylor—vote to approve the district's revised budgets for fiscal year 2020-21. (Screen capture from YouTube)

The Higley USD governing board, from left: Michelle Anderson, Vice President Jill Wilson, President Michelle Reese, Tiffany Shultz and Amy Kaylor—vote to approve the district's revised budgets for fiscal year 2020-21. (Screen capture from YouTube)

Higley USD’s governing board adopted revised budgets for fiscal year 2020-21 that are more than $7.67 million more than what was adopted in June 2020.

Under the revision, the aggregate budget for maintenance and operations, unrestricted capital and federal aid will be $128.1 million. The governing board unanimously approved the budget at its May 12 meeting.

The board originally approved an aggregate budget June 24, 2020, of $120.43 million.

The higher combined budgets come despite a loss of 160.03 students in average daily membership, or ADM, Finance Director Tyler Moore told the board.

ADM is the total enrollment of fractional students and full-time students, minus withdrawals, of each school day through the first 100 days in session of the school year. That figure is key in the state’s formula for education funding.


However, the district received $5.9 million in federal and state relief dollars, and the state also restored some of the reduction in funding for online students, which is normally 95% of what the district is given for an in-person student. That put another $1.28 million into the budget than previously anticipated.

In total, the maintenance and operations budget was set at $95.01 million, unrestricted capital to $23.51 million and federal project money to $9.58 million.

Furthermore, the district was able to reduce the amount of money transferred from its maintenance and operations budget to the unrestricted capital budget, Moore said. Maintenance and operations, or M&O, pays for day-to-day operations of the district, including most salaries, while unrestricted capital pays for items such as textbooks, technology, building construction and maintenance, and buses.

Not included in the revision is any money from a third round of the federal Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief funding. The district does not know what it will receive yet but is anticipating about $6.7 million, Moore said.
By Tom Blodgett
Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent 30 years in journalism in Arizona and is the editor of the Gilbert edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he now serves as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.


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