School district faces budget crunch

Posted 2/3/09

The slumping economy and the resulting federal and state purse-string tightening means Englewood School District expects to make cuts to the 2008-09 …

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School district faces budget crunch


The slumping economy and the resulting federal and state purse-string tightening means Englewood School District expects to make cuts to the 2008-09 budget.

Peg LaPlante, district finance director, said district revenues have been hit by a decline in specific ownership taxes from car registration and less interest on investments. Additionally, the state is expected to make a funding recision, which would means the district will get less money than promised as part of the 2008-09 school funding bill passed by the Legislature last year.

“We don’t know all the details yet but we are taking steps to freeze spending in order to cut the budget by about $400,000,” LaPlante said. “The spending freeze applies to all schools and departments unless the purchases are needed for the safety of the students or are essential to education the children.”

The spending freeze applies supplies and there is now a requirement for approval to copy any documents. LaPlante said such cuts will produce small savings but the small savings quickly add up to help the district balance its budget.

About 45 percent of total district revenues come from local sources, primarily property taxes, while the remainder comes from state school funding.

Since both revenue sources could decline, the district is currently formulating plans on how to deal those anticipated revenue reductions for the next school year.

State school funding will probably decline because the state is facing the need to trim next year’s budget by $823 million.

The governor has outlined his proposed cuts to the Legislature’s joint budget committee and the committee has given a general outline of those proposed state budget cuts that would impact public schools.

LaPlante said the list indicates all the areas that received increased funding this year will be eliminated, frozen or see funding reduced.

For example, the governor recommends rolling back the cost of living factor in the school finance formula to 2000-01 levels. That will lower the per-pupil state funding that school district receives. The proposal would save the state about $70 million which means Englewood is expecting to receive about $300,000 less in state funding next school year.

Other possible cuts are unknown and LaPlante said the district will continue to keep an eye on developments as the work progresses on developing a budget for the 2009-10 school year.

The school year runs from July 1 until June 30. State law requires the district establish a balanced budget, and the school board must have the budget adopted by the end of June.

All day kindergarten funding was kept at the 2008-09 level.

Englewood used the additional money to offer free all-day kindergarten to all students for the first time this school year.

Sean McDaniel, school superintendent, said Englewood places a high priority on offering free all-day kindergarten and, while the amount of state money for the program won’t increase and may go down, he is very hopeful that the program will go unchanged for the 2009-10 school year.

School district trimming this year’s budget

District also looking at cuts for 09/10 budget

Both actions triggered by sagging economy.


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