IM School Board OKs deficit elimination plan

IRON MOUNTAIN – In keeping up with the requirements from the state, the Iron Mountain School District Board of Education approved an amended deficit elimination plan during Monday’s meeting.

The plan needed to be approved and sent to the state Department of Education by Thursday.

Finance Director Jennifer Huotari said that with the 2014-15 budget they kept the revenues constant with a slight adjustment in the donation made for the school’s music department. The first year, the district received $100,000 and for the next 10 years will receive $10,000 a year from an IMHS graduate.

In determining the state aid for 2014-15, the district used a figure of 850 students or full-time equivalents and for 2015-16 school year, a projected 805 students. Previous estimates were for 875 students in 2014-15 and 829 in 2015-16. In direct relationship to the number of students is the state foundation allowance for each student, which is $7,126 for 2014-15. She used a conservative estimate by increasing this by $100 more per student in 2015-16.

Any other state revenues, including money for at-risk programs, will remain the same in the budget from 2014-15 to 2015-16. Money received for Best Practices, another state incentive for schools, is an additional $50 a student in 2014-15 and was kept the same for 2015-16.

Huotari added that federal revenue will remain consistent from 2013-14 to 2014-15.

On the expense side, she said that they held the same non-salary/benefits from one year to the next. The deficit elimination plan requires a recap of everything and they won’t know the exact figures for the 2013-14 – namely the fund balance – until the audit is conducted in August.

“This will change again since we don’t know the fall enrollment yet as well as what will happen next year. We’ve had two seasoned companies conduct our enrollment projections. It was done most recently in April giving us another 5-year projection. When we compared the two, it was pretty close. We took the average of the two to come up with our projected figures for enrollment that we need for our budgets,” said Superintendent. Tom Jayne.