SDMF has a proven track record of financial responsibility and works to continually create operational efficiencies. The district is lean and continues to seek opportunities to reduce costs while prioritizing student needs. Due to the funding formula and flat resident membership, MFSD has had fixed revenue in recent years and is projected to have fixed revenue in future years while expenses continue to climb due to inflation. The District prioritizes budget items based on needs over wants in order to maintain efficiencies and a balanced budget.
There are many ways in which the district seeks cost reductions to the greatest extent possible. Staffing-wise, the district’s staffing model appropriately aligns staff with student enrollment. This ensures we function within our board-approved optimal class size ranges. The district’s move to a self-funded model for health insurance over a decade ago has proven time and time again to provide lower increases than the regional trend, resulting in more money back into classrooms. Outside of the classroom, the district has negotiated and locked in utility costs directly with a provider, resulting in energy cost reductions and avoidance of over $9.6 million since 2001. In addition, the district has refinanced debt to create over $4 million in direct taxpayer savings since 2006. At a more granular level, divisions, departments, and schools review their budgets annually and identify needs over wants.
In short, the district is lean and continues to seek means to control costs. However, state funding that does not keep up with inflation will begin to cause significant impact in programming that will be felt by our staff and students.