The last time the District asked voters to approve an operating referendum was 2007. These resources helped to fund educational programs, learning supports and operations that are aligned with our community’s current values for its public school system.
During the recent economic recession, we were one of the few metro area school districts that did not cut programs and services. Our highly regarded fiscal management resulted in a fund balance (similar to a “rainy day fund”) to prepare for the inevitable impact of limited state funding and a shift in enrollment.
While other school districts were cutting budgets, raising class sizes and eliminating staff, Bloomington Public Schools was focused on creating innovative programs to attract students, retain quality teachers and support staff and put more focus on classroom programs to help struggling students.
Up until now, the District has relied on enrollment growth to annually increase revenue and keep pace with inflation when state funding did not. However, as Bloomington continues to age our student enrollment has remained relatively flat. As a result, our ability to maintain the innovative programs and retain our exceptional staff is threatened by limited resources.
Our financial management continues to receive high ratings among citizens:
87% of residents believe the community receives a good value from its investment in BPS.
81% say the District demonstrates accountability for the quality of education provided to students.
More than 60% believe the District has managed its finances effectively and efficiently.
The District is also recognized with a Standard & Poor’s AA Bond Rating. Like a high credit score, a good bond rating means lower interest rates.
We have aggressively reduced non-instructional operating costs to maximize dollars for the classroom, including the following adjustments:
A self-insured employee health plan saves the district $1 million per year.
As the owner/operator of our school buses, our transportation costs are $350,000 less annually than our neighboring districts.
Joining a solar garden has locked in energy rates for the next 25 years.
Active refinancing of debt ensures the lowest interest rates and reduces debt service that will lower this year’s tax levy for taxpayers.
Over 85 cents of every operating dollar is spent on instruction and curriculum. This spending is higher than the state average of 82 cents and higher than all of our neighboring districts.