DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - The School Budget Review Committee has approved a motion to relieve more than $9 million in overspent money by the Davenport Community School District.
The committee approved the motion on a 3 to 2 vote.
The district had requested $9,275,489 in modified supplemental amount, which gives the district spending authority, not cash. The amount represents the school district's negative balance for 2019, but not the $2,769,078 that the district intentionally overspent in 2016.
State officials say for context, under state law, school districts are granted annual spending authority, which limits the total amount they can legally spend during a school year. A school district that overspent their authorized limit is required under law to appear before the School Budget Review Committee to provide a corrective action plan.
They say as an independent panel established by the Legislature, the SBRC has the authority to hear requests for additional spending authority from school districts and area education agencies.
Superintendent Robert Kobylski said during a press conference Wednesday morning that the SBRC’s decision brings with it a great deal of responsibility and that the school district is not taking that responsibility lightly.
“I know their decision carried great magnitude across the entire state and our responsibility as a school district is to take this opportunity and not squander it,” he said. “We have to make sure that the opportunity that we have in front of us directly impacts student learning outcomes. We have to make sure that the opportunity that was presented to us sets an example for other school districts across the state.
“I now that was one of the concerns in the conversation that we had with the SBRC was the precedent- setting nature of their decision, and I think there’s a great responsibility on the part of Davenport to make sure that we do this right and we take this opportunity and not only get our financial house in order forever but show the rest of the state that Davenport really has its act together and we know what we’re doing and we’re going to do this well and we’re going to do it right. And we’re very excited about the future.”
Kobylski said that prior to the SBRC ruling, the district was required to pay itself back for money that was overspent in the budget.
“It has no impact on taxes in the community,” he said. “It’s just money that we don’t have to put back into our coffers, so to speak, to repay ourselves on that.”