School board takes final look at 2018-2019 budget prior to hearing

By Kayleigh Rahn
The Tuscola Board of Education during its meeting Monday, Sept. 24 heard cautious good news regarding the 2018-2019 budget.

“There is some good news,” Superintendent Michael Smith said. The district on Monday received $3.6 million in Douglas County tax money. By the end of the fiscal year, Smith has projected the district will receive about $5.2 million in local revenue sources, or local tax dollars.

In addition to the tax money, the state announced that it will make the fourth categorical payment to school districts, which will bring in $81,000 for transportation for Tuscola schools.

“That’s tremendous,” Smith said. “That will go in the transportation fund and do a world of good. Now, we hope we receive four payments for this fiscal year, which used to be automatic.”

I other positive budget news, the state passed a bill to give back some of the CRPPT fund. The state moved $300 million total from 27 school districts, but will return $4.3 million to the revenue stream. For Tuscola, that means about $156,000 in additional revenue.

Though the budget is unbalanced with a $400,000 deficit at this point, the nearly $2.3 million in the education fund will provide a buffer for the district to manage this school year.

The additional funding reduced the deficit in the education fund, but there will still need to caution used moving forward.

“What I project on the budget, it doesn’t usually, knock on wood, turn out to be that bad,” Smith said noting his conservative approach to budgeting. “If it’s showing $400,000 you should probably see $250,000-$200,000. What you can bank on though is that there will be a deficit in the education fund, but you’re still OK because you have nearly $2.3 million. You have some wiggle room. What you can’t do is continue to build and build year after year. It will eventually bite you. As some know it will bite you sooner than you realize.”

The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Sept. 26 edition of The Tuscola Journal.

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