What is the difference between a “Level Service” budget and a “Level Funded” budget?
A level service budget provides for the same level of service to students and families that was provided the previous year (no reductions in staff or programs). Increasing costs, contracts, inflation cause level service budgets to increase the following year. Due to these increases, a level funded budget, or one short of a level service, typically ends in a reduction in staff or programs.
A level service budget for FY23 was a 4.65% increase. The LPS FY23 budget was increased by 1.44%, thus necessitating a reduction of 14 positions (several positions were subsequently put back using 1-time ESSER funds).
A level service budget for FY24 (current) was 9.1% increase. The percentage was higher than typical because the 1-time funds used in FY23 were no longer available. The LPS FY24 budget was increased by 4.31%, thus necessitating a reduction in 20.4 positions- essentially 2 years worth of reductions.
As we develop our FY25 budget we know that we have $400,000 of 1-time funds built into our budget that will not be available and close to $2m in obligated increases.