State lawmakers passed a measure that will provide school districts with a one-time infusion of $51-per-pupil in funds for the upcoming school year.
But both Brainerd and Crosby-Ironton superintendents said those funds, while greatly appreciated, won't do enough to turn things around at either district.
Brainerd Superintendent Jerry Walseth said Monday that school administrators will recommend to school board finance committee members on May 29 that these funds, anticipated to be a little more than $300,000, be rolled into the district's unreserved fund balance. The unreserved fund balance provides cash flow for the district and is projected to have a balance of $557,714 at the end of the 2008-09 school year.
Walseth said they don't want to commit these one-time funds to ongoing expenses.
"We're highly appreciative of the efforts of our legislators this session and most certainly of our local representatives and also our parents," said Walseth. "I think our community most certainly responded to our need."
Crosby-Ironton Superintendent Jamie Skjeveland echoed Walseth's remarks. He said he will recommend that the extra $50,000 or so the district receives be placed in the unreserved fund balance. Skjeveland said area lawmakers worked very hard, "they squeezed blood out of a turnip, water out of a rock." But the extra funding the C-I district will receive is small compared to the $750,000 deficit the district is facing this fall and the $1 million deficit faced the year after that, he said.
"It just gets swallowed by the deficit," Skjeveland said of the $51 in per pupil funds.
Lawmakers also provided school districts with the one-time opportunity to take $51 in per pupil funds out of the capital funds budget, used for building repairs, and use it for operating expenses.
Both Walseth and Skjeveland said this doesn't help either district since what capital funds each district has are needed for ongoing maintenance and repairs.
JODIE TWEED may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5858.
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