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Despite cutting next year's projected deficit by more than $1 million, Riverside-Brookfield High School will still run an operating deficit in 2012-13, Superintendent Kevin Skinkis told the school board last month.
Skinkis said that the school's budget deficit next year would be between $200,000 and $400,000.
"We've pretty much made the reductions everywhere we could have made reductions." Skinkis told the board. "After this, there's not much possibility of making further reductions."
The budget deficit was originally projected to be approximately $1.6 million next year before the board and administration made a series of cuts. They laid off some teachers, reduced some other teachers to part-time status and more than doubled the pay-to-participate fee charged to student-athletes.
Last week, the school reduced the hours for six non-certified staff members in a move that Skinkis said would save the district between $17,000 and $25,000. It also voted to recall or increase the assignment of six teachers, including baseball and varsity girls basketball coach Dallas Till, who was offered a part-time contract.
"I think we've made some significant strides in addressing the district's financial concerns while still offering a full slate of activities and classes for students," Skinkis told the Landmark in a separate interview.
Skinkis said he won't know the exact amount of next year's projected deficit until the summer, after final decisions are made about teacher staffing.
Reserve funds will cover the deficit.
Although the deficit is expected to be fairly small next year, it could increase rapidly after that.
"Next year we'll have a slight deficit, but then right away in two years out, the deficits start to climb again," Skinkis told the school board. "Within two or three years ... projections say we'll be back to about a million dollar deficit again. Obviously a lot of this is contingent on collective bargaining with the new contract. We still have to be putting together as to how we're going to address revenues for the district."
The contract with the teachers union expires on June 30, 2013, and renegotiating that contract will be a big focus for the board over the next year.
Two main alternatives for raising revenue are passing a tax referendum or borrowing money by issuing working cash bonds as the district did in 2008.