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Broken Arrow Public Schools


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Frequently Asked Questions

From whom does Broken Arrow Public Schools receive its money?

A majority of the district’s money comes from state sources, usually around 60 percent. Other sources include federal, intermediate and local.

Where does the money go?

Figures may slightly vary from year to year.

Instruction: 59%

Administrative support: 13%

Operations and Maintenance: 8%

Student Support Services: 8%

Transportation: 5%

Instructional Staff Services: 5%

Community Service Operations: 1%

Other: 1%

What is the district’s budget?

The district runs on a $130 million dollar budget generated from property taxes and state funded revenue, which serves more than 19,000 students and 2,000 employees. This state aid is distributed through a complex formula that considers the number of students and factors like poverty levels, English Learners, and the need for transportation and special education services. 

When does Broken Arrow Public Schools receive money from the State?

The timeline in which the state of Oklahoma adopts a budget and allocates money to education is complicated. Just as a salaried employee isn’t paid annually in one lump sum, school district’s aren’t paid that way either. Learn more about the time by visiting our budget timeline infographic.

What funds make up the district’s budget?

The district's budget is made up of eight different funds: General Fund, Building Fund, Bond Funds, Sinking Fund, Activity Fund, Child Nutrition, Trust Fund and the Internal Service Fund. Each fund has a purpose in ensuring the district properly receives and uses money.

What is the General Fund normally spent for?

The General Fund provides direct and support services for all students enrolled in the district. This includes salaries/benefits, instructional supplies/materials, equipment, utilities, insurance, and other costs.  School districts typically spend 80 to 95 percent of the General Fund on salaries and benefits.

What is the Building Fund normally spent for?

The Building Fund provides for maintenance and repair operations, upkeep and construction of district facilities and grounds, contractual services, and salaries/benefits for custodial and maintenance service.  By law, only salaries and benefits for these purposes may be paid from the Building Fund.

What can bond issue proceeds be spent for?

Bond issue proceeds must be spent for constructing or purchasing new facilities; remodeling or repairing existing buildings; or acquiring school furniture, fixtures, equipment, uniforms, technology and transportation equipment.

No less than 85 percent of all bond issue proceeds must be spent on the list of projects included in the bond resolution and approved by the voters. The remaining 15 percent can be spent on similar-type projects as approved in the bond issue election or can be used to reduce the sinking fund debt. 

Can bond funds pay employee salaries?

According to Oklahoma law, bond funds CANNOT be used to pay employee salaries or benefits.

How are bond issues paid off?

Principal and interest for a bond are paid out of the district’s Sinking Fund, which is funded by property taxes.

School bonds are limited to a 25 year term by state law, but five to ten year bonds are typical.

What is the Sinking Fund?

This fund consists of funds derived by local taxes for the payment of bonds and legal judgments against the district.

What is the Child Nutrition Fund normally spent for?

The Child Nutrition Fund provides for the purchase and delivery of food services to the district’s students and staff on a daily basis. This includes food costs, salaries/benefits for cafeteria staff, and the purchase, maintenance, and repair of equipment.

What is the Activity Fund used for?

The Activity Fund is NOT funded by taxpayers dollars. They are student raised funds for the purpose of extracurricular events like athletic and fine arts events.

What is State Aid?

State Aid represents the funds appropriated by the state legislature for school districts and distributed by the State Department of Education through the “State Aid Formula.” 

State Aid is primarily based on student counts with allowances made for various student characteristics represented as grade and categorical weights.

If a district’s student count increases, the State Aid is adjusted in the current year. If a district’s student count decreases, the State Aid does not decrease for two years.

The State Aid calculated using these student counts is then reduced for local revenue collections by subtracting “chargeables.”

What are “chargeables”?

“Chargeables” are a district’s local revenue sources that are included in its annual State Aid calculation. The revenue sources are: Ad valorem property taxes, motor vehicle collections, gross production taxes, school land earnings, county 4-mill taxes and rural electric association taxes. The amount of these funds collected by a district (current year for ad valorem & previous year for others) are “charged” or subtracted from the district’s State Aid since these funds are collected locally. As these revenue sources, such as ad valorem taxes, rise, the district’s “chargeables” also increase, meaning less State Aid for the district.

Can school districts “borrow” money?

Oklahoma statues generally prohibit school debt, except for the following three instances:

  1. Bond issues
  2. Lease-purchase agreements
  3. Non-payable warrants

The most common way that school districts “borrow” money is through the passage of bond issues. State law requires approval of at least 60 percent of the voters in a bond election before a district can issue bonds.

What is “fund balance”?

Fund balance is the “unencumbered” or “available” balance of funds at the end of a fiscal year that has not been reserved to pay for any goods/services that will be received after June 30 (the end of the fiscal year). This is also referred to as a “carryover” or “savings account.”

Why is a fund balance necessary?

A fund balance is necessary for the following reasons:

  1. To help districts fund payroll and other costs during the first half of the school year when expenditures are more than revenue collections because there is no State Aid payment received in July, and the majority of ad valorem tax revenue is not received until January and April. (NOTE: State Aid payments are received equally over a period of 11 months — August through June. State Aid is not paid to the district in a “lump sum” at the beginning of the fiscal year.)
  2. To meet any unanticipated expenses.
  3. To help fund future budgets, if planned expenditures exceed anticipated revenues.

The percentage of fund balance that can be carried into the next year is limited by state law. The penalty for excess carryover is a reduction to state aid the next year.