From the Superintendent's Memo...
"While the improving revenue landscape could support an incremental FY13 general fund operating budget of $397 million (an increase of $12.5 million), which would allow us to continue to make incremental academic progress, I believe that we must take a bolder approach to ensure the future success of our children. Therefore, I am recommending that the Board of Education approve, and the Knox County Commission appropriate a structural (annually recurring) revenue increase of $35 million over our expected natural revenue growth. These resources would be integrated into our general fund operating budget gradually over the next five years ($7 million per year) and invested in specific strategies to significantly enhance student learning and success.
Because most methods of structurally increasing the budget for the Knox County Schools would be best effectuated at one time rather than in five separate incremental changes, I am recommending that this structural increase of $35 million be fully approved starting with FY13, thus allowing the school system to make a major investment in instructional technology and school facilities improvements over the next several years ($28 million in FY13) without incurring additional debt. Please see the details of this recommendation in the attached documentation.
In terms of a specific recommendation for the coming fiscal year, this proposal would translate into a FY13 general fund operating budget of $404 million (a 5% increase over our current budget) as well as a supplemental appropriation of $28 million for school facilities improvements and technology investments. In addition, I will recommend a separate FY13 Capital Budget of approximately $15 million prior to your April voting meeting.
This five-year budget proposal is critical to accelerating our student academic success, and I believe it is a reasonable and necessary investment of resources. An additional $7 million added to our general fund operating budget over natural revenue growth in each of the next
five years represents an additional increase of less than 10% over a five year period. I believe that the future success of our children, and indeed the future vitality of our community demand such an investment."