December 17, 2014

SSCS holds budget hearing

By James Kuch
News Editor | news@arenacindependent.com
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STANDISH — After an updated budget hearing, the news is still bleak for the Standish-Sterling Community School District.

During a special budget hearing on Monday, June 13, the district board of education was given updated information on the projected budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

District business specialist Mike Waldie gave information to the board regarding the district’s general fund, school service fund and debt retirement budget at the hearing. He said the largest loss in revenue comes from states decision to lower (rebase) the student foundation allowance from $7,316 per student to $6,846.

“That is a reduction of $470 per student,” he said.

Waldie said that during the spring count of 2010 the district had 1,766 students and was down to 1,730 in the fall count. He said the district was paid based on having blended revenue of 1,739 students from its state aid membership.

Waldie said the student count has continued to trend down, adding that the 2011 spring count showed the district had 1,715 students.

“We are estimating a fall count of 1,700 students,” he said. “That is projecting our kindergarten (class) coming in and our seniors going out. We hope the count is higher because if it is not, our projected revenue will be going down.”

The loss in state revenue for the district will cost approximately $1,245,856, Waldie said. He said his calculations also accounted for the state giving the district $100 more per student. It also includes the loss of an American Recovery and Reinvestment Grant and EduJobs funding that was cut for the upcoming year.

“As the state does, they talk in double-talk all of the time,” he said. “They are taking $470 (per student) away from us but they are giving us $100 reprieve to help us offset the increase in the retirement rate. I added that additional $170,000, otherwise that overall loss would be around $1.4 million.”

The district is also planning on taking an additional loss of $246,538 from local sources. Waldie said the Bay-Arenac Independent School District gave the Standish-Sterling Community School District approximately $215,000 for the current fiscal year.

“They informed me that they will only be able to give us around $75,000 next year,” he said. “That will be a loss of $145,000. It is cyclical. One year the reimbursement number is up, the next year it is down.”

Waldie projected federal sources will be down around $23,727.

According to Waldie, the district will levy 6.5 mills for its debt retirement fund which is down from 7 mills last year. He said that will lower the cost of those who pay taxes.

“If a person has a $100,000 house and you divide that number by 1,000 and multiply the mills, you get a total of what you will have to pay,” he said. “If that were the case, a person would have to pay $650 now rather than $700.”

Waldie said the district is planning for a loss of approximately $50,000 in revenue for the debt retirement fund.

Information on the district school service fund shows that the district will gain $9,328 in revenue for the fiscal year, according to Waldie.

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