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WDC district plans more budget tightening

Faced with the certainty of making additional cuts in the school budget this spring, the District 2155 board approved a dollar amount of $450,000 for budget cuts in the 2010-11 budget at its regular January meeting Monday night.

The amount is a beginning number for Wadena-Deer Creek Superintendent Virginia Dahlstrom to work from in making recommendations for reductions or cuts.

These are uncertain times for the state budget and the state is playing with the idea of having certain school districts "hold the check" until they can cover their aid payments by May 30.

"This is what they have to deal with," said WDC business manager Jerry Anderson, referring to the Minnesota Legislature, which opens its session Monday, Feb. 1. "Whether they are going to deal with it or play politics I don't know."

Anderson cautioned the board that the state could also reduce their aid payments to the school district by up to $600,000. Anderson said that in a "worst case" scenario, which would be a combination of state payment reductions and school budget reductions, the district budget could see a drop in the neighborhood of $1 million.

Anderson told the board that the district is looking at the necessity of making a minimum of $375,000 in cuts this spring. Board member Steve Techam felt that figure was low in view of what is happening in the state. Chairwoman Ann Pate suggested moving the budget reduction figure up to $450,000.

The possible delay in school fund payments will only affect districts with healthy fund balances. Anderson said that delayed payments will not impact District 2155.

In other news, Curt Grenier

received approval from the board for the Wadena-Deer Creek Employee Wellness Committee to spend up to $25,000 from the Wellness Account to continue Round Seven of the Wellness Program. The program is renewed every two years. The account currently has $56,297.19. The money was received from the Staples Service Co-op and is earmarked for the Wellness Program.

Activities of the Wellness programs include school physicals, flu shots, rate stabilization, physical fitness programs and wellness education.