Budget time for local school districts is still months away.
But a major district in our region is already seeing lots of red ink for next year.
Jim Olson is live in Minot where the school district is preparing for a budget shortfall.
(Jim Olson/KX News)
This is my most challenging year, budget wise, ever.
That’s how Minot Public Schools Business Manager Scott Moum described the numbers he’s seeing for the next school year’s finances.
Moum laid out the details of lower local property values and lower state aid to school board members today.
His bottom line?
The district can expect to be facing a deficit of close to three million dollars – and that’s before contracts are negotiated with teachers and other employees and other potential spending.
The budget isn’t finalized for months, but Moum said he wanted to give board members advance notice of the developing shortage.
He said he would suggest making some cuts in things like bus and computer purchases, and building improvement spending.
But he points out those cuts would be one-time – and the district would face much more painfull decisions if funding doesn’t increase.
(Scott Moum, Minot Public Schools Business Manager) “You can talk about massive cuts to staff and closing buildings…if this continues you might have to have those kinds of conversations in future years. This is by far going to be the most challenging fiscal year I’ve ever experienced. We also do have reserves that we have to offset some of this. So for a year, we’ll be OK.”
Superintendent Dr. Mark Vollmer said if the trend in lower property valuations continues, the district will continue to have budget shortfalls.The budget process kicks into gear in mid-summer, with a final budget vote by the board likely in October.