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NLS School Board approves 2010-11 budget

NEW LONDON -- The New London-Spicer School Board on Monday approved a budget for the 2010-11 year.

The budget includes $12,960,044 in general fund revenues and $12,675,659 in expenditures, leaving $284,385 to help the district rebuild its general fund balance.

The general fund balance was just $5,129 on June 30, 2009, but is expected to be $131,166 on June 30 of this year and $415,551 on June 30, 2011.

"We are in recovery," Business Manager Barb Gjerde told the board after she presented the budget information.

The leading factor in the recovery is funding from a $200 per pupil levy that takes effect in the 2010-11 budget year. The increase was approved by district voters in November 2008. The increase puts the district's additional levy at $597 per pupil.

The other key factor in the recovery is an additional $100,000 in compensatory aid, generated federal funding that comes along with more students receiving free or reduced lunches, Gjerde added.

Last fall, the district had 28 percent of students qualified for free or reduced lunches, up from 22 percent the previous year.

The recommended general fund balance is 5 percent and equates to about $600,000 on a $12 million budget, Gjerde said.

The district needs to continue to make budget cuts of about $200,000 a year, which it has for the last several years, she added. Budget cuts, along with not spending all the additional levy funds, will help build the fund balance.

The budget includes district-wide expenditures of $3,543,305, elementary expenditures of $3,221,336, middle school expenditures of $2,589,166 and high school expenditures of $3,321,852. The only area where the budget declined was at the high school level, which decreased $64,825.

The school board trimmed about $290,000 from the upcoming budget this spring. The current budget included revenues of $12,656,820 and expenditures of $12,530,783.

In other action, the board approved two resolutions establishing the filing period for school board candidates and calling for the election of school board members on Nov. 2.

The candidate filing period is from Aug. 3 to 17. Voters in the district will choose four school board members. The four-year terms now held by Robert Moller, Dan DeGeest, Holli Cogelow-Ruter and Helena Lungstrom expire this year.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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