GHAPS faces deficit for 2018-19 school year

Krystle Wagner • Jun 20, 2018 at 2:00 PM

Grand Haven schools is faced with a budget deficit for the upcoming school year.

On Monday night, the district’s Board of Education approved the budget for the 2018-19 school year that includes a little more than $920,000 deficit. The projected ending fund balance is a little more than $5.596 million, or about 7.9 percent, noted Lisa Danicek, the district’s director of business services.

She said the deficit is a little more than 1 percent of the district’s overall budget.

Board of Education President John Siemion said that although the district is operating with a deficit, they remain financially sound.

The budget represents conservative assumptions based on Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed budget, and was drafted in May, Danicek said.

“Since then, some of the forecasts have improved,” she said.

Once the state budget is approved, Danicek said potential changes will be reflected in the first budget revision in December.

The projected count of 6,156 students is down 23 fewer students because the state eliminated funding for shared-time kindergarten. Danicek said it has now been reinstated at the state level since the budget was developed.

The district expects to see an increase of $220 per pupil, which will bring the district’s per-pupil foundation allowance to $7,928.

Employee wages were factored into the budget at settled and current contract rates.

The approved year-end 2017-18 budget was for $6.5 million, or about 9.3 percent, in the fund balance. Danicek noted the district started the school year with a deficit of a little more than $942,000, and the final budget looks to have a deficit of a little more than $213,000.

Danicek said the numbers are strong, and they hope to end the year with a balanced budget — a trend that they hope continues the next school year.

“We just want to assure we can meet the expenses that arise,” she said.

While June 30 marks the end of the 2017-18 school year budget, Danicek said it’s the highest fund balance they’ve had in several years and they’ve worked hard to reach that point.

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