The Spring Lake Board of Education recently approved the district’s 2014-15 school year budget, projected at about $23.8 million.
Scott Powers, the district’s chief financial officer, said they will see a potential savings with three retirements and three resignations, in addition to a less than 1 percent increase in state funding.
Superintendent Dennis Furton said three positions will be filled, while the other three will depend on the fall enrollment. The district projects to maintain its enrollment at 2,500 students for the next school year.
Furton said the budget woes have been partly due to the lack in state funding and increased costs with health care and retirement. He said they’ve worked to maintain a level of programming and educating students with lower state funding levels in recent years.
Balancing the budget has been part of the school board’s goal for the past few years.
“It’s been a long time coming to get to the point we’re at now,” Furton said.
The state Legislature recently approved an overall 4 percent increase in funding for K-12 schools, community colleges and universities. Furton said that means the Spring Lake district will receive an additional $200,000, or less than a 1 percent increase. Furton said the district will receive additional funds, but they will also have increased costs for retirement.
Last year was the third year in a row when the district had to lay off staff when they faced a nearly $500,000 budget shortfall.
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