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June 10, 2016

Budget Update - Capital Fund Transfers

We want to address some recent questions regarding the District’s fund balance and why we transfer money from our general fund into our capital fund.

Transferring money from the general fund to the capital fund is typically done annually by the District. We will be transferring $5.0M to the capital fund this year.  The District is fortunate to be in a position to transfer money from the general fund to the capital fund or transportation fund while still meeting the operating costs of the general fund, and maintaining the budget capacity to address increased costs for 2016-17.  The cost increases for 2016-17 include the opening of Sage Crest Elementary and Chinook Middle School, as well as additional teaching positions.

As a growing District, we are constantly planning for future expense increases associated with capital and operational needs.  For example, this year, we are buying four new double portables and moving 14 portables from our middle schools to our elementary and high schools to address enrollment increases.   

Supplementing the capital fund with transfers from the general fund allows for a broad scope of projects to be addressed, rather than limiting projects based on the availability of bond and state matching funds. For example, from 2013-16, we will have spent over $6.0M out of the capital fund on portable purchases, portable site work, and portable furniture.  Funding transferred from the general fund has offset this cost and has extended the use of bond and state match funds for other projects. 

Next school year, the District will be building a facility for our maintenance and grounds departments.  We have outgrown our current facility due to increased busing needs, warehouse needs, and nutrition service’s needs. Funding transferred from the general fund to the capital fund will support the completion of that project.

Various programs have money held in the general fund balance and in some instances funding from those programs might be transferred to the capital fund.  Last year, Tri-Tech Skills Center transferred a large portion of their fund balance ($1.5 million) held in the general fund to the capital fund as they prepared for an expansion on the west side of the current Tri-Tech Skills Center site.

In closing, I want to provide another update on District finances for the 2015-16 school year.  We are projecting close to $195.0M in revenue as compared to $184.0M in expenditures for the general fund. The District fund balance is projected to increase by $5.0M - $6.0M from $31.2M last year to over $36.0M.  We welcome your budget questions and will continue to periodically send out answers to budget questions during the summer as they are brought to our attention.

If you have specific questions that we can help you answer, you are welcome to contact either myself, Vic Roberts at, or Superintendent Dave Bond at