Our View: Districts need reserve funds

Wednesday , June 18, 2014 - 7:55 AM

Editorial Board

The Davis School Board was wise to place leftover money in a reserve fund that would be controlled by the board to use in case of catastrophic situations.

The Economic Stabilization Fund is designed to meet economic emergencies on a one-time basis. An example of its type of use occurred several years ago, when the district suffered cuts in the middle of the year.

The current budget, which had a public hearing on Tuesday night at the Davis School District Offices, allocates $2 million for the Economic Stabilization Fund. That’s not a large amount, but it’s a prudent investment.

In our opinion, it’s a no-brainer that the Davis school board make sure the reserve fund has the ability to meet unexpected education needs. It’s the board’s job to be prepared for emergency budget needs.

There was an objection to allocating funds to the reserve fund. At a recent meeting, district board member Burke Larsen said that any extra money in the budget should go toward teachers’ salaries. Larsen added that teachers are hired with salaries in the poverty level.

Frankly, teachers’ salaries compare well with salaries in Utah. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/12/15/how-much-teachers-get-paid-state-by-state/) The average teacher salary in Utah was more than $49,000, according to data compiled late last year by The Washington Post. Across the nation, teachers’ salaries in Utah are more or less equal with our neighbor states.

We’re not opposed to teachers earning more money, but not at the expense of a district not having a small emergency reserve fund. There is room in the Davis School District budget for teachers’ salaries as well as the reserve fund.

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