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NLS School Board in west central Minnesota starts budget cutting process

NEW LONDON — The New London-Spicer School Board began the annual budget cutting process at the regular meeting Monday by passing a resolution directing the district administration to recommend reductions for the 2013-2014 school year.

The board also reviewed the budget timeline, which calls for approving revisions to the current year’s budget at the Feb. 28 meeting, presenting a draft of 2013-2014 reductions at the March 25 meeting and final approval of the reductions and staff layoffs at the April 22 meeting.

The board did not discuss a target number for budget reductions, according to Superintendent Paul Carlson, who noted that the district needs to balance the 2012-2013 budget, establish a new 2013-2014 budget and then keep the budget balanced for 2014-2015, all while waiting to see what funding levels are established by the state legislature.

“There will still be a lot of assumptions (in the budget),” Carlson said Tuesday in a telephone interview. “We will be conservative because of our low fund balance.  

The recent audit of the district’s finances found that NLS had a negative $99,693 balance for its unassigned general fund balance on June 30, 2012.

New board member Naomi Johnson was sworn into office at the meeting. Two current board members, Renee Nolting and David Kilpatrick, were sworn into new three-year terms on the board. Robert Moller was elected the board chairman, with Kilpatrick elected as vice chair. Helena Lungstrom will remain as the board clerk and board member Dan DeGeest will serve as treasurer.

The board also approved a calendar adjustment that makes Feb. 18 a school day for students. The district has already called two snow days, with only one snow day officially included in the school calendar. The day had been identified as a possible makeup day for any weather cancellations.

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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