Accelify Blog

Chelsea Schools Face Budget Crisis in 2011 (MI)

May 13, 2010

A presentation to the Chelsea Schools Board of Education on Monday painted a dismal financial picture for the district by 2011.

Teresa Zigman, executive direct or of finance, told the board it is possible that the district could use all of its fund equity and be nearly $700,000 in debt by June 30, 2012.

“We’ll continue to travel a treacherous road for the next six to nine months,” Superintendent David Killips said.

Adding to the problem is the Michigan Legislature’s inability to agree on a state budget.

Factors affecting the budget include decreased state revenue, declining student enrollment, loss of the federal ARRA funding after next year, and decreased foundation allowance from the state.

Special education funding will decrease in the 2011-2012 school year from 84 percent to either 55 percent or 25 percent, depending on whether or not voters renew the special education mil-lage next year.

The district must also bear the burden of increased costs associated with retirement, health insurance and miscellaneous expenses such as utilities.

Zigman reviewed the three types of funds available for district expenses. The general fund is limited and controlled by the state. It can be used for any expense; however, the district makes every attempt to keep this money for student and operating costs.

Sinking funds and bond funds are created by community vote. These funds cannot be used for operating costs. Sinking funds can be used for major repairs and renovations. Bond funds can also be used for major repairs and renovations, as well as technology, buses, furniture and equipment.

Over the next week, the district will review the second proposal for Race to the Top federal funding. The first phase of funding was awarded to Delaware and Tennessee.

&lt ;strong>In other action:

*The board voted unanimously to accept two anonymous donations of more than $1,000 each – one for the Chelsea Scholarship Committee, and one for the Chelsea Orchestra program.

*North Creek Principal Marcus Kaemming and teacher Lisa Kaemming presented a literacy report to the board. They focused on assessment results of current first graders who have received extra help with reading. A significantly greater number of students reached goals re-lated to comprehension and fluency than last year’s first graders. The teachers credit full-time kindergarten for providing the basis that contributed to the higher achievement.

*There are plans for the school to work with the Chelsea District Library to create a system to help parents and children select books for a particular reading level.

*The next school board meeting will be at 7 p.m.  May 24 at the Washington Street Education Center.