Southern Door to Discuss Budget Deficit

The Southern Door School Board will discuss its $862,018 budget deficit for the 2011-2012 academic year at a special meeting June 29.

A failed April referendum and cuts in state aid will force the board to make cuts. The school sought a revenue limit override in that referendum that would have brought in an additional $400,000. That dollar figure for the referendum was set before Gov. Scott Walker presented a budget that would cut state aid to schools, which added to Southern Door’s shortfall.

School board member Pamela Parks said the referendum would have given the school more breathing room.

“The referendum was definitely needed for this year and certainly would’ve helped us with this shortfall,” she said

The SOAR program, the reading recovery program, the gifted and talented program and a counselor position are all under consideration for cuts to balance the budget. While cuts are inevitable given the size of the shortfall, Parks said these reductions are still only possibilities.

Southern Door does have a general fund balance of $3,413,000, but Superintendent Joe Innis has said that using the fund balance to cover the deficit is not a permanent solution. Doing so would drain the fund in two and a half years.

At the June 29 meeting, Parks said the board will go over line items that could be “tightened up” and consider the administration’s suggestions about cuts.

“Obviously these are valuable programs, and the board doesn’t want to see services like these cut to students,” Parks said. “I’m looking for a plan detailing how the needs of the students are going to be met.”