Contingency budgets are used when a school district’s budget is not approved by the voters. School districts operating on a contingency budget may not exceed the previous year’s budget by 4%, or 120% of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is less. The contingency cap has caused severe financial hardship for these schools given the extreme and unanticipated rise in fuel costs. This legislation would provide relief for this school year and thereafter. If signed by the Governor, increased fuel costs, which are clearly out of the control of school districts, would be excluded from the cap.
“With the dramatic increase in the cost of fuel, this legislation is especially timely,” said Senator Saland. “Should this bill become law, schools operating on contingency budgets will not have to cut vital programs and services to students in order to pay their fuel costs while still staying within their contingency cap.”