FY 2017 Budget

16-17-prelimbudgetDes Moines Public School administrators, the School Board, and members of citizen and employee advisory committees are at work on developing the FY 2016-17 budget, which begins on July 1. The budget must be completed and submitted no later than April 15.

On this page you may read a copy of the proposed budget, view presentations made at previous budget-related  meetings, see key dates in the budget process, and access other budget information.

FY 2016-17 Preliminary Budget

The FY 2016-17 preliminary budget is now available online. The preliminary budget proposes maximum expenditures of $536,253,133.

As Superintendent Ahart notes in his cover letter to the FY 2016-17 preliminary budget, there are several unknowns in preparing next year’s budget as the state legislature continues to fail at setting state spending amounts in a timely manner: “The preliminary budget is based on significant assumptions, as we are facing substantial unknowns at this time. The district’s General Fund accounts for approximately 80% of all revenues received in a given year. Nearly all of those funds come from two sources: State Aid and Local Funds, including property taxes. The amount of State Aid and Local Funds is driven by the level of Supplemental State Aid (e.g., Allowable Growth) the state allocates to Iowa schools. School districts in Iowa are required by law to certify budgets by April 15 of each calendar year; yet, for several years, the Legislature did not established Supplemental State Aid (Allowable Growth) and State Foundation Aid in a timely manner. In the 2013 legislative session, the Legislature set Supplemental State Aid (Allowable Growth) for schools for FY 2014 and FY 2015, which enabled the district to make more accurate assumptions for FY 2015.”

Be sure to read Superintendent Ahart’s entire letter, starting on page 5 of the preliminary budget, for a complete explanation of the school district’s preparations for the 2016-17 fiscal year and the budget challenges being perpetuated by the State.

Budget Parameters

The School Board adopted the following as parameters in establishing the school district’s budget for FY 2016-17:

  • Meet and stay within Board Management Limitations.
  • Maintain financial heath; provide a balanced budget.
  • Keep District Student Expectations and Board Beliefs at the forefront.
  • Review status of all levies; make strategic adjustments as needed.
  • Seek input from the Citizens’ Budget Advisory Committee (CBAC) on budget issues.
  • Seek input from the Employees’ Budget Advisory Committee (EBAC) on budget issues.
  • Continue to seek operational efficiencies and improve operational effectiveness.
  • Continue to focus on drop-out prevention and graduation rate improvement strategies.
  • Focus on strategies to close the achievement gap.
  • Improve English Language Learners (ELL) programming.
  • Continue to assess needs and evaluate programming to:
    1. Create innovative programs to meet unmet needs.
    2. Maintain or grow programs that are demonstrating success.
    3. Strategically abandon programs that do not demonstrate value.
    4. Assess and address curriculum needs and program delivery as needed to stay ahead of advances in technology and digital content.
  • Improve Parent and Student Engagement


The following are presentations made by the school district’s Chief Financial Officer  at various points during the budget process:

Budget Advisory Committees

The Citizens’ Budget Advisory Committee and the Employees’ Budget Advisory Committee prepare recommendations for the School Board to consider in the FY 2016-17 budget process. Their recommendations to the Board are as follows:

  • Citizens’ Budget Advisory Committee (coming soon)
  • Employees’ Budget Advisory Committee (coming soon)

Key Dates

The following are budget-related meetings, both past and upcoming. Please note that dates are subject to change.

Friday, April 15, 2016
Statutory deadline to submit FY 2016-17 budget

Tuesday, April 5, 2016 – 6:00 PM
School Board Meeting
Central Campus – Multi-Purpose Room

Saturday, April 2, 2016 – 9:00 AM
Public Budget Forum
Lincoln High School – Auditorium

Wednesday, March 30, 2016 – 6:15 PM
Public Budget Forum
North High School – Auditorium

Tuesday, March 29, 2016 – 6:15 PM
Public Budget Forum
Central Campus – Community Room