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Jobs fund money to help with Ellsworth school budget

The Ellsworth School Board decided Monday to use a Federal Education Jobs Fund award to help with the district's budget.

The local schools have received $390,122 to be applied toward either existing jobs or others as part of expansion in either the 2010-11 or 2011-12 school terms, or both, Superintendent Barry Cain explained. Following a board workshop, members approved applying the funds toward existing costs in the present term.

"It will help with the fund balance," Cain said about the budget while reviewing the workshop.

He foresaw the possibility of the amount easing deficit spending.

"If we use it now, it could mean breaking even on the budget," he said.

The projected deficit for the 2011-12 term is $793,349, based on current figures available from the state, the superintendent said. However, the legislature has yet to determine the exact funding, he added. His understanding shows the potential for a reduction, in which case the local deficit might increase to up to $962,549, so it was recommended the board use the federal funds to address existing expenditures.

Meantime, Cain reminded budget cuts have been made for a number of years and such a direction will eventually result in being unable to maintain programs for educating students sufficiently. Calling this "a crisis situation," he indicated the matter will have to be put to district residents in a referendum at some point in the future.

Read more in the print version of the Herald Nov. 17.

Bill Kirk

Bill Kirk was editor of the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth, from 1988 to February, 2015 and is now on staff as a reporter. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He previously worked in the media distribution department at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus and is past editor of The Tri-County News in Osseo, Wisconsin.

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