School will use cash reserves to avoid budget cuts

/ 4 April 2012 / jennifer

Cliff Buchan, Forest Lake Times, April 4, 2012 –

At the Thursday, March 1 Forest Lake School Board meeting, it was clear there was little desire to make necessary budget adjustments via cuts. That sentiment became reality on Thursday, March 29 as the board voted 7-0 to use general fund unreserved dollars to address a $300,000 budget adjustment.

The adjustment addresses the 2012-2013 budget year.

As part of the adjustment, the administration recommended saving $115,000 by eliminating two teacher positions. Board member Kathy Bystrom wasted little time last week in moving to utilize fund balance dollars to absorb the $115,000. ,Bystrom’s motion tied in $10,000 in curriculum writing dollars that were slated for elimination.

The only cut that remains in the proposal for next year’s budget is the elimination of $25,000 in special education local dollars tied to one teaching position.

In response to a question from the board, Larry Martini, director of business services, said the unreserved general fund is now at $4.5 million.

The budget adjustment will also be achieved through two other factors.

The district continues to talk to Lakes International Language Academy, a public Spanish-Chinese immersion school in Forest Lake, for the rental of four classrooms next fall. If the rental agreement is reached, LILA would pay the district $32,000 in rent.

A larger chunk of revenue is found in the district levy for its cost commitment to the East Metro Integration District of which ISD 831 is a member. The EMID levy will drop by $118,000 next year, according to estimates.