Milton Schools grappling with $890K budget gap, state school funding cap
MILTON--Although more state fiscal and legislative water will pass over the dam between now and later this year, when Milton School district finalizes its 2013-2014 budget, it appears the water has slowed to a trickle.
For Milton School District, officials say, it’s created a budget crisis that’s broadened an already sizable $500,000 projected budget gap next year to a financial chasm of $890,000, according to district estimates.
District officials are blaming a spending cap in school funding in Gov. Scott Walker’s biennial budget that holds per pupil state equalization aid reimbursements flat at a “zero increase.”
The district had anticipated in a financial forecast last December that it would get a boost in state aid of $100 per student. The bottom line: That’s not happening.
The state’s Joint Finance Committee will dig into the governor’s biennial budget later this spring. But for now, district Business Services Director Mary Ellen Van Valin says the per-pupil school spending cap means a shortfall in $344,000 compared to revenue the district had anticipated.
District Administrators broke the bad news to the school board’s budget and finance committee last week.
Board member and Budget and Finance Committee Chairman Bob Cullen this week called the broadening budget gap and sudden financial crisis an “unanticipated” hardship for the district.
The board this week settled on a list of $865,000 in potential cuts presented by district administrators. He called that list of cuts a “systematic approach to a bad situation,” Cullen said.
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