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School Board Approves Revised Budget, Reviews Budget Projection
Borg Report February 8, 2024
On Monday night, February 5, the Westonka School Board approved the revised 2023-24 budget and reviewed a projection for next year’s budget. The board approved the revised 2023-24 general operating budget of $39,084,592 in revenues and $39,527,589 in expenditures for a net unassigned fund balance increase of $35,940.
The Westonka community’s generous support of an operating levy referendum in 2019 provided 10 years of funding for district operations. Due to the levy’s tiered payment structure, we will see an increase in operating funds next school year. However, even with this increase, it remains critically important that the district challenge its budget on an annual basis to ensure these funds cover the expenses of operating a successful school district.
For this reason, we are targeting an adjustment of $50,000 to next year’s budget. Over the coming months, the administration will review operational expenses and look into appropriate ways to increase revenue. We welcome ideas from staff and parents on how the district can be more efficient in how it operates. If you have experienced areas of the district where you feel there could be cost savings or revenue-generating opportunities, please reach out to me.
Other District Updates
Bond Project Timeline: We are incredibly grateful to our community for approving bond funding last November to improve safety and security at all schools; address significant deferred maintenance needs of the district’s 50- to 70-year-old buildings; and redesign Mound Westonka High School to enhance the learning environment and improve functionality, safety and pride. Our facilities work groups are making good progress. You can view a tentative timeline for all projects at www.westonka.k12.mn.us/bondprojects.
Summer 2024 Construction: Security improvements at Hilltop and Shirley Hills primary schools and the Early Learning Center have been prioritized in the bond construction timeline and will be installed this summer. The relocation of the main office at Grandview Middle School to create a secured entrance and the related security upgrades are being targeted for summer 2025 to allow sufficient time for design, bidding and securing of materials. Security improvements at Mound Westonka High School will be completed as part of the high school redesign in 2025 and 2026. Also on the summer 2024 project schedule is the construction of 12 new tennis courts (with eight of these courts also lined for pickleball) across Sunnyfield Road E from the high school. We are excited to make the needed improvements to this playing surface, as well as expand opportunities for our students and community members. Additionally, we will be doing a few maintenance projects this summer at the district bus garage.
District Branding Review: As I mentioned in my last Borg Report, the district will be doing a branding review over the next six plus months that will complement and enhance the facilities design and construction work. We are excited to engage students, staff, parents and community members throughout the branding review process and have already heard from a few individuals who wish to be involved. If you are interested in learning more, please feel free to reach out to me.
If you have any questions about these or other topics, please contact me directly by phone or email.