November 26, 2014

Budget amendment shows SSCS losing less than projected

By James Kuch
News Editor | news@arenacindependent.com
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STANDISH — The Standish-Sterling Central School district has seen its projected loss of $670,000 from fund equity in 2011 decrease to $612,000, with the help of a freeze in its budget.

District business specialist Mike Waldie updated the board of education at its monthly meeting held March 15.

“I updated the budget amendment to show the results of that freeze on spending,” he said.

Waldie told the board at the meeting that this budget amendment was the second of three or four amendments he plans on presenting. Waldie previously reported his first budget amendment in December.

“The first budget amendment I did was, simply, to realign the expenses and revenues to show what we do and what is going to happen,” he said. “This (budget amendment) shows the results of bringing grants into the picture.”

An audit financial statement report from June 2010 shows that the district currently has $5.1 million in its fund equity. Waldie said the district has done an “exceptional” job reducing costs the past few months.

“We are in saving mode right now,” he said.

Waldie said that the district’s finance committee has been meeting at least once a week for the past six weeks.

“Those meetings have been helpful and effective,” he said. “The board (of education) and administrators have been working hard. Everyone is trying to cut corners. It’s been a real team effort.”

Waldie told the board at its last meeting that the district is 100 percent “self-funded” on its insurance, adding that the current numbers show the district spending is $200,000 higher than it was in February 2010.

“What happens in the next four months? I don’t know,” he said. “I hate to be the bearer of bad news all the time,” he said to the board.

Waldie said the board has continued to make strides in savings, in preparation for Gov. Rick Snyder’s projected budget cuts.”

“We have to start somewhere,” he said. “Hopefully, these savings will carry over to next year.”

Waldie reported in December that the district lost 49 students between the fall of 2009 and 2010. He estimated that those losses resulted in a $350,000 loss in state funding. He also said the state of Michigan increased the percentage the district is required to put into the state pension fund, a $300,000 loss.

“As for the February count, we lost another 15 students,” he said. “We are not sure what that loss in revenue will equal yet, student counts are blended by the state on its monthly State Aid Form.”

Waldie said the district’s student count is currently at 1,714 students.

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