Midyear adjustment means reduction in state aid to Ada schools

Mike Anderson Ada City Schools Superintendent

Ada City Schools will see a $178,447 reduction in state aid this fiscal year due to a midyear adjustment to its funding.

The district’s initial allocation of state aid totaled about $10.37 million, Superintendent Mike Anderson said Tuesday, the day after he discussed the adjustment with the Ada Board of Education. But as a result of the annual midyear adjustment, the new amount will be approximately $10.19 million — a reduction of about 1.72 percent.

Oklahoma adjusts the amount of state aid to schools each year at this time, after all revenue collections from the previous year and local dollars are accounted for, Anderson said. He said the Oklahoma State Department of Education goes in and tweaks districts’ allocations of state aid based on enrollment figures across Oklahoma.

Anderson said it’s not unusual for districts to see their state aid allocations decrease as a result of the midyear adjustment.

“It’s something that you kind of plan for,” he said. “Any time your district is growing from a net assessed valuation standpoint, chances are you’re going to see a decrease in state aid funding at the midyear adjustment.”

Anderson said he had anticipated a reduction in state aid at midyear, and his estimate of the amount of the reduction was close to the mark.

“It’s not a surprise,” he said. “It just still hurts when you see it.”

Anderson said the district will have to tighten its belt slightly to offset the loss of state aid, but the fact that the district’s general fund balance was in good shape at the start of the fiscal year will make that task easier.

Matt Holder, deputy superintendent of finance and federal programs for the Oklahoma State Department of Education, said school districts receive their initial notice of state aid allocations in July each year. That calculation takes into account the previous year’s ad valorem taxes and 11 months of the current year’s chargeables, which include gross production tax revenues and other sources of funds.

Then in October of each year, the state Department of Education collects data on a variety of topics. That information includes the number of special-education students in each district, the student count per grade and the number of English-language learners.

“The schools are able to use their highest weighted ADM (average daily membership) over a three-year period of time,” Holder said. “So if they haven’t grown — if their weights haven’t grown — then they would use their previous year’s weighted ADM. If they have grown, they get to use that at the midterm adjustment and then are paid up at that amount.”

The state also takes a district’s current assessed valuation into consideration when calculating midyear adjustments.

Ada City Schools’  ADM did not grow in 2018, but its assessed valuation and other sources of revenue did increase, Holder said.

“The way the formula works is, the more money you get from your local or state dedicated dollars — from your ad valorem taxes or those other things that I just referred to — the less state-appropriated dollars you get,” he said. “In their case, they didn’t necessarily lose any money; they just are getting it in a different form. 

“They are going to receive more money in ad valorem taxes, so that means that they’re going to receive less state-appropriated dollars.”

Eric Swanson is the City Hall and general assignment reporter for The Ada News. He spent 15 years working at the Dodge City Daily Globe in Dodge City, Kansas, before joining The Ada News’ staff in 2012.