Feature Article - June 2012
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Schools & School Districts

A Look at Trends in Schools & School Districts

Revenues & Expenditures

Respondents from schools and school districts were more likely than others to report that their revenues were falling from one year to the next. In 2011, one-third (33.6 percent) of school respondents said their revenues decreased from 2009 to 2010. That number rose to 36.6 percent for 2010 to 2011, and 38.6 percent expect to see further decreases in 2012. Even in 2013, when many other respondents begin projecting much more positive revenues, 35 percent of schools respondents are expecting revenues to drop. (See Figure 47.)

At the same time, while this year's school respondents saw a slight rise in operating expenditures for fiscal 2011 over fiscal 2010, they are projecting decreases over the next couple of years. Ultimately, schools respondents projected their operating budgets to fall 5.1 percent from $1,303,000 in fiscal 2011 to $1,236,000 in fiscal 2013.

At the same time, schools respondents expect the number of people using their facility to either remain the same or increase. More than half (57.1 percent) said they saw no change in users from 2010 to 2011, while a little more than one-third (35.2 percent) saw an increase in that time frame. More expect an increase (37.1 percent) from 2011 to 2012, while 54.1 percent expect no change in that time period. From 2012 to 2013, expectations are similar to 2011, with 35.8 percent projecting an increase in the number of people using their facility, and 57.5 percent expecting no change. (See Figure 48.)

Slightly more school respondents in 2012 reported that they had taken measures to reduce their operating expenditures. While 87.9 percent of 2011 school respondents had done so, in 2012, 88.1 percent of schools respondents had acted to reduce operating costs. The most common measures adopted included improving energy efficiency (53.8 percent had taken this action); reducing staff (50 percent); cutting programs or services (33.8 percent); putting construction or renovation plans on hold (30.5 percent); and increasing fees (27.1 percent). Reducing staff was a much more common action among school respondents in 2012 than in 2011, when 38.9 percent said they had done so.

Over the course of 2012, more schools report that they plan to reduce staff than respondents from other facilities. Still, a clear majority (88.2 percent) said they plan to maintain current staff levels or even increase staff. Some 11.8 percent had plans to reduce staff.

Among the 4.2 percent of schools respondents with plans to add staff over the course of the year, they planned to add four employees, on average: three full-time employees and one part-time employee.