2/28/2013 10:50:00 AM Revised budget reviewed by school board
by Nora Bryson
The Cannon Falls School Board reviewed the district's revised 2012-13 budget at the Monday, Feb. 23 meeting. The revised budget shows the progress made by decreasing General Fund expenditures by $202,836.76 and increasing revenues by $1,724.71 This allows for a positive General Fund balance of $91,243.47
One discouraging trend is that projected revenue is down by $224,704.31 with $207,876.02 coming from adjustments to the local levy and Minnesota Department of Education in the Debt Service Fund, but $24,100 coming from reduced Food Service (school lunches) Fund estimates, $21,483.18 coming from reduced General Athletics and Boys Athletics projections in the General Fund, and another $25,738.20 coming from reduced projections to Other Community Programs, Youth /Development/services, and Recreation in the Community Service (Education) Fund.
The reduced revenue projections in Community Education helped prompt the board to move the proposed Round II cut of $22,000 to 6-8 grade athletics into Round III. Although the idea was to have Community Ed pick up the 6-8 grade programs, it was noted that lack of integrated sports "feeder programs" could cost the district more than the cut would save (i.e. with funding worth $6,200 per student, if merely four kids chose to attend another district with said programs, Cannon Falls would lose money).
Giese suggested that another approach would be to raise all activity fees again. But she noted that at $125 per activity, Cannon Falls has the second highest rate in the HVL despite being only the fifth largest district. Board member and acting Chair Pat Dougherty voiced concern over pricing out some families and individuals from participating.
The board discussed the following Round II budget reductions: 1) $10,000 offered by Andy Sandstrom on the bus maintenance contract; 2) $25,000 for a 0.5 FTE (Full Time Equivalent) reduction at the ALC (Alternative Learning Center); 3) $1,415.42 by eliminating an assistant "site manager" at home events; 4) $8,457 by reducing the Elementary supply budget; 5) $50,000 for 1.0 FTE Elementary teacher via retirement and non-replacement (maintaining class size at 27 students); 6) $50,000 for 1.0 HS teacher via class registration numbers; and 7) $4,000 by reducing the ALC's supply budget.
Board member Rob Siebenaler asked about drawing down the district's fund balance again this year as opposed to further cuts. He felt it was merely part of the "leaning up" process everyone was going through.
Giese agreed "it's always as option." But having just found out that the recent broken water main is NOT covered by insurance, she explained "it's unexpected emergencies like these that we also need that fund."