Blaine school board passes $21.1 million budget

Published on Thu, Aug 26, 2010 by By Jeremy Schwartz

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The Blaine school board has completed their budget planning for the 2010/11 school year, but uncertainties remain that may force staff cuts one or two years out.

The school board voted 4-0 at the regular meeting Monday night to approve a $21.1 million budget for the upcoming school year. Board member Mike Dodd was absent.

The district has worked hard to keep any budget cuts from affecting staff, and thereby affecting the quality of the district's education, superintendent Ron Spanjer said. About 80 percent of the budgeted $21.1 million is allocated to salaries.

While the district has not had to make serious cuts to staff for the 2010/11 school year, Spanjer said it will get harder and harder to find other places to cut once the 2011/2012 school year rolls around.

He said many school districts will be forced to make tough decisions about what to cut once federal stimulus money dries up within the next fiscal year.

Spanjer said he is proud of the work the district has done to carry forward as much money from the previous school year as they can. For the 2010/11 year, that amounts to about $300,000, he said
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The district will end the upcoming school year with approximately $1.1 in its general fund, Spanjer said, which is 5.2 percent of the district's expenditures. The goal for the year’s ending balance was at least 5 percent of the expenditures, he said.

The current economic climate forced the district to reconsider its previous policy that stated a given year's ending balance could not be less than 6 percent of expenditures.