Business Services oversees the overall management of the district's $155 million budget. The department collects and reports student attendance and demographic information to the State of Minnesota to procure revenue.
We also comply with state and federal reporting requirements, oversee the required yearly audit, monitor investments, and hold the annual Truth and Taxation hearing. The department also oversees finance, child nutrition and transportation, along with a multitude of other processes.
Our Business Services Department professionals are dedicated to providing efficient and effective services to support the learning environment. We are here to serve our stakeholders on all school district financial issues.
Duluth Public Schools’ fiscal year begins July 1 and ends June 30. Each step in the budget process requires School Board approval and is open for public inspection and comment. The process spans multiple school and calendar years; the district can be in multiple phases of the process at any given time.
Property Tax Levy – The process begins with the submission of estimated property tax levy information to the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) by August. MDE sets the maximum amount each district may levy based on current legislation.
In Minnesota, schools gain revenue from two primary sources: the state's Basic Revenue Allowance and local property taxes. The county collects property taxes through a levy. These levies can take one of three forms:
- Levies that occur without voter approval. These would include a levy for operating capital, health & safety, leases, safe schools and others.
- A bond levy that requires voter approval through the referendum process. Bond levies raise money that can only be used for new construction or additions to school buildings. These funds cannot be used to run or operate schools.
- An operating levy that requires voter approval through the referendum process. Operating levies provide money above the state allocation to be used for operational expenses. These are the funds that it takes to run and operate schools.
Truth in Taxation Hearing – December, prior to the School Board certification of the tax levy.
Preliminary Budget Projections – Includes enrollment projections and budget forecasts, development of staffing guidelines and determination of revenue and expenditure assumptions. During this time period, the state legislature will provide information about anticipated school funding. The School Board approves any necessary adjustments to the General Fund in March.
Final Budget Approval – The School Board approves a final budget in June per state statute.
Annual Financial Report and Audit – The final step involves closing the books and preparing financial statements for the year. During this step, the district undergoes an independent audit as required by law. The audit typically takes place in October and November and the School Board reviews the audited financial report in December.
Donations and Fundraising – Business Services handles all donations and fundraisers. Monetary donations can be made in cash or check. All fundraisers must be pre-approved by the department. Staff, please submit donation requests through the Donation Google Form and fundraiser requests through the Fundraiser Google Form.
Executive Director of Business Services and Finance Manager
MARSS Coordinator/Business Services Liaison