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BEA board using its reserves to avoid more cuts

By Staff | Jun 14, 2009

The Blue Earth Area School Board will use some of the “undesignated” reserves of $3.4 million to meet revenue shortfalls next year.

And, those in the district may be asked to vote on an operating levy referendum this fall.

On Monday night, board members approved a preliminary budget for the 2009-10 school year. Revenues are estimated to be $13.2 million and expenditures at $13.554 million.

Earlier this year, the board made cuts of more than $400,000 because they were anticipating less state funding.

Superintendent Dale Brandsoy says despite a revenue shortage of nearly $354,000, more cuts are not expected.

In fact, a teacher placed on unrequested leave of absence in April because of low kindergarten enrollment numbers will be back full-time.

With the recent kindergarten roundup completed, elementary principal Kevin Grant believes a fourth section is needed.

“They are willing to go into the reserves. Rather than making any further reductions, we’ll deficit spend this year,” Brandsoy says.

One budget item has been drastically reduced since April.

The district will no longer have to meet a mandated requirement of 2 percent for staff development.

Brandsoy says the mandate, which has been suspended for two years, costs the district about $145,000 a year. For the upcoming year, $70,000 is being budgeted.

Of the $13 million in revenues next year, nearly $930,000 comes from a five-year operating levy referendum.

Alan Wilhelmi, financial services coordinator says this is the final year money will be received from the levy.

To read more of this article, see this week’s Register.