State Funding Update

Dear Liberty-Benton Families and Staff -

I hope you and your family are doing well. I am writing today to update you on the state of Liberty-Benton School District’s finances amidst this health crisis.

As you may have heard, the governor announced a $300 million reduction in state funding to K-12 schools this school year. This amount represents 3.7% of the state’s original $8.1 billion base funding to 610 school districts. It’s unfortunate, but understandable when you consider the economic impact of the pandemic right now on all of us.   

We have received questions from our community about how this will impact the financial health of our schools. For Liberty-Benton, these reductions amount to $271,122 this fiscal year, but we hope to make up for some of that with $78,073 in federal funding through the CARES Act. 

What does this mean to the overall budget? Generally speaking, there is so much uncertainty that it makes it very difficult to predict what the future will look like. We're also unsure what this may mean for next school year, but we should anticipate more cuts and reductions. We may not have all the answers now, but the good news is that we have built a strong financial foundation to help us through this crisis and we will continue to adjust our five-year forecast as necessary.

Will there be changes to the delivery of education and the way we conduct business? Possibly. We will certainly have to continue to adjust the way we do business, as a result of this pandemic. 

We pledge to analyze all of our spending and stretch our budget -  just as we’ve always done. Our school district has a strong track record of conservative, sustainable and responsible financial planning. It is our hope that this ongoing commitment will enable us to get through this challenging time by protecting the quality of our schools as much as possible.  

In addition, Liberty-Benton has been fortunate to receive continued financial support from our community. We are grateful for the successful passage of the November 2019 income tax renewal levy, which enables us to keep local dollars local, supporting our local schools. 

As more information is known, we will continue to communicate with you. In fact, expect to hear more about finances in the coming months. Communicating the financial health of our schools in a transparent manner with taxpayers has always been a priority, and I promise to continue that conversation with you.

Lisa Dobbins


FY 20 Foundation


% of Foundation


 $          4,575,047

 $    145,884



 $          6,301,397

 $    211,801



 $          3,416,592

 $    117,711



 $          1,660,373

 $      57,571



 $          3,483,480

 $    154,317



 $        22,800,430

 $ 1,083,424



 $          5,071,174

 $    271,122



 $          2,102,373

 $    120,032


Van Buren

 $          1,066,333

 $    273,690


Districts will see different reductions in funding based on local capacity, with higher-capacity districts taking higher per pupil reductions. 

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