Capital vs. Operating Budget

  • Capital budget cannot be spent on operating costs. Separate accounts meet different educational needs. School district operating funds and capital (bond) funds are intended to meet different needs, must be kept in separate accounts, and are audited to ensure the money in each account is spent appropriately.

    The general fund pays for the day-to-day operations of schools, which includes salaries, supplies, program costs, utilities, and routine maintenance. The general fund receives money from the state and federal government, as well as local funding through our voter-approved levy. By law, capital funds may NOT be transferred to the general fund or used to pay for day-to-day costs of running a school district.

    Bond funds may only be used for "capital" projects, like buying land, building facilities, making major capital improvements, and paying for costs tied to construction. Salaries and office space for capital projects work, as well as the materials / equipment needed to furnish new buildings, are also legitimate capital expenses.

    Is there any way capital funds can support the operations budget?
    Yes. The district is choosing efficient and sustainable building practices, such as natural day-lighting, efficient HVAC systems, durable construction materials, and low-maintenance finishes to reduce utility bills and maintenance costs in the new buildings.

    Since utilities and routine maintenance are paid through the general (day-to-day operating) fund, capital investments which reduce these costs will ultimately support the operations budget.