At a June 19, 2017 meeting, the Greenbush-Middle River School Board heard that it’s district would be operating in the red to the tune of a $471,025 deficit during the 2017-18 fiscal year. Now, it’s projecting a budget in the black.
At its June 18, 2018 meeting, the board discovered that the district would be operating in the black by $52,326 for the upcoming 2018-19 fiscal year, according to budget projections.
The state is projecting the district’s revenue at $5,166,315. Jerome highlighted the accuracy of the state’s revenue projection, but did add that the district’s revenue has come in higher than what has been projected by the state in the past.
As for the expenditures, the district is projecting $5,113,989.
Jerome explained that these projections come with some moving parts, one being enrollment. The current budget projections are based on an enrollment of 288, a projected drop of 30 students compared to the total enrollment this past May. These enrollment numbers consider the drop in students due to graduation– losing 32 to graduation and bringing in 16 kindergarteners– and a loss of 14 more students.
“We have not received anywhere near, anywhere near, 30 requests for students leaving our district. It’s based on feedback from some staff members. I make no promises,” Jerome said. “I’m telling you I came with what I thought was a good faith enrollment projection. I’m not going to know the enrollment. Nobody else in this room will either until we get into the first day of school (this September).”
This budget projection also is based on the total employees the district has in place now. Adding a staff member would add to the district’s expenditures and affect the projection.
Not continuing to maintain the Middle River building also is accounted for in these budget projections, amounting to an estimated $63,000 to 67,000 in savings Jerome said.
“If we do not own the building in the winter time, those savings are realized,” Jerome said. “If we do own the building, as mentioned in the May 7 public meeting, we probably couldn’t assume that we would have all of that savings because we would have to spend some money to maintain some heat in that building.”
Currently, the Middle River building remains under district ownership, but the City of Middle River expressed interest in buying the building from the district for $1 at the board’s May 21 meeting. Several board members and Superintendent Jerome expressed how this was an avenue to look further into or was just a good idea.
At this time, the district can’t sell the building due to legalities. Jerome explained how there’s a 60-day period following the closure of a building allowing legal representation or others to “petition or challenge” a building closure. That 60-day period ends on July 6.
The board approved the projected budget.
To see the full school board story, read the June 27 issue of The Tribune in print or online.