By Kayleigh Rahn
The Tuscola School Board of Education during its meeting Monday, Aug. 27 approved the Tuscola Educators Association contracts for 2018-2022.
The contract was approved following of closed session discussion of negotiations.
Also during the meeting, the school approved the preliminary budget review, which is about 80 percent solidified as the district is waiting on a few numbers from the state.
At first glance, Superintendent Michael Smith said the budget shows mostly good news and no real reason to panic.
“It does show on this initial pass through a deficit in the (education) of about just a little over $600,000,” he said. “If you recall last year we started out with a deficit in the ed. fund of about $900,000. We got it down to about $450,000, and we ended up only losing about $144,000. That’s all OK because we have a soft landing spot that we didn’t used to have.”
Smith said the challenge would be losing additional funding the Corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax and the addition of staff members.
“That starts to inch up and increase your deficit in that one fund,” he said. “Hopefully by September it is more accurate, and we’ll just keep an eye on it for the rest of year.”
In the midst of the fiscal year a new school board will be seated, and a new superintendent will be hired by the end of the school year, so Smith warned the remaining board members to keep a watchful eye out to move forward with caution.
“When it comes to making a school board decision, if you’ve waited until you have to make a decision, you’ve waited way too long,” Smith said. “It’s hard to make preemptive decisions, but we’ll see where the next few months lead us.”
The draft of the budget will be on public display for 30 days and the board members will host a hearing Friday, Sept. 28 at 7:30 a.m.
Smith continued the numbers talk as he began his monthly report. He said overall the budget seems to moving forward with no major alarm.
Also in his report, he noted that summer work projects are nearly complete with only a few minor punch list items to wrap.
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Aug. 29 edition of The Tuscola Journal.