Badger School to operate in a projected deficit

While reviewing its projected fiscal year 2018 budget, the Badger School board learned that it will be operating in a $143,277 deficit.

“Now, we’re not used to projecting deficits (in this district), but this should not be a surprise to anybody because we’ve talked about this going into the LED lighting project,” Badger Superintendent Tom Jerome said, “which was a major project for us, and combine that with a new (master) contract and combine that with a projected declining enrollment… Our district has a healthy fund balance and this is our projection as of June 12.”

At its May 19 special board meeting, the Badger board approved an approximate $121,000 bid from Northwest Electric out of Newfolden to do an LED Conversion Project. To take place this summer, Northwest Electric will convert the lighting in various areas of the Badger School to LED. The district is receiving a $19,000 LED Lighting Rebate from Ottertail Power Company for this project.

This LED project accounts for much of the district’s expenditure increases compared to last fiscal year. The projected expenditures for this next fiscal year total $3,432,255– a $148,757 increase compared to last year. Also accounting for some of the expenditure increases, the district had to make a master contract increase for certified staff and is projecting to make a master contract increase for non-certified staff as well (accounted for in this projected budget), increases the district makes every two years.

A decrease in revenue also is factoring into the deficit. The projected revenue for this upcoming year totals $3,288,978, down slightly, Superintendent Jerome said, compared to last year, even with the recent state-wide two percent increase to the general education formula. A reason for this projected revenue decline is a decrease in enrollment of seven students, down to 234. Each student accounts for approximately $11,000 to the district, so seven less students would equal approximately $77,000 less in revenue. 

To see the complete school board story, read the June 14 issue of The Tribune in print or online. 

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