C-A officials pass $51 million budget for 2011-2012

FLINT TWP. — With fingers crossed that a projected 100 student enrollment decrease will be lower, the Carman- Ainsworth Board of Education officially adopted its general appropriations budget for the 2011-2012 school year at its Tuesday night meeting.

The $51,411,135 budget, first presented in a public hearing two weeks ago, exceeds anticipated revenues by about $2.2 million. The shortfall results from factors including dropping enrollment, declining property tax values and stateaid budget cuts coupled with increasing personnel costs including salries, health care and retirement funding.

“Keep in mind that we are looking at negative numbers most of the time now for the simple reason that we are a declining district with enrollment,’’ said Russ Parks, assistant superintendent.

He said the projected 100 student loss alone equates to about $750,000 to $800,000 in lost revenue.

Superintendent Bill Haley said they are hoping the student loss will be less but it is too soon to tell even if kindergarten enrollment will increase because they tend to be a late arrivals.

Parks said based on 10 years of data anaylsis there are no predictable enrollment patterns. The funding picture will become clearer when the fall student enrollment count is taken the last week in September and the first week in October.

Haley also said the district hopes to underspend this year’s budget by about one percent leaving a larger fund balance for next year.

In other business, the board amended its 2010-11 budget to adjust for nearly $3 million in additional onetime revenue that came in from anticipated sources including federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and EduJobs grants and state equalization property taxes.

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