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Unexpected special education debt puts Litchfield School District in statutory operating debt

Litchfield School District Superintendent Bill Wold said Friday the School Board will make over $200,000 in budget cuts Monday as the first phase of the district's plan to get out of statutory operating debt.

By state definition, a school district is in statutory operating debt when it is holding a -2.5 percent undesignated fund balance in its general fund.

According to Wold, the district's fund balance is at -4.7 percent.

Wold said the district was informed after November's general election about an unexpected fee of $300,000 in special education-related costs. The fee, along with the district's inability to pass an operational levy increase, pushed the district into statutory operating debt.

The district contacted the state Department of Education already, Wold said, and is working on a three-year plan for getting out of statutory operating debt by the 2010-11 school year.

Read more about the district's financial situation and projected budget cuts the West Central Tribune Saturday.