School district faces $2 million in 2013-14 budget cutsArea News
-- The bottom line for the South Washington County School Board is that it must cut $2 million from the 2013-14 budget.
By: Judy Spooner , Pierce County Herald
COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. -- The bottom line for the South Washington County School Board is that it must cut $2 million from the 2013-14 budget.
Getting to that $2 million has been a multi-step process for South Washington County Schools. It started with a committee process that looked at seven school budget categories. A second phase took budget options to the public in three recent meetings, online information and surveys.
The final phase begins at the Thursday school board meeting where three budget-balancing options will be discussed. A preliminary budget is expected to be set March 21.
Final approval will be at the end of May, with the property tax levy set at the end of the year.
Like last year, the district is projected to spend $6 million from its reserves to balance the budget. That would leave a fund balance of 4.5 percent of the operating budget, which is within the district’s policy of maintaining at least a month’s worth of district expenses in reserves.
Two years ago, the fund balance percentage was 11 percent and 2013-14 would continue the spend-down of reserves.
If Gov. Mark Dayton’s education budget is passed, it will bring an additional $49 per student to the district, but the district administration, including Finance Director Aaron Bushberger, are not counting on that revenue increase and it’s not part of the budget under discussion.
Under a new process led by Superintendent Keith Jacobus, all areas of the budget are being discussed simultaneously instead of separately over several months, as it was done in previous years.