Hard decisions are ahead for the leadership of the LuVerne and Corwith-Wesley School Districts, according to Superintendent of Schools Tom Fey.
Fey met with both boards at a meeting in LuVerne on Nov. 7.
Budgets for the 2011-2012 school year have been filed with the Iowa Department of Education. Figures show the LuVerne district had a positive unspent balance of roughly $55,000 on June 30, 2012. The Corwith-Wesley district had a negative unspent balance of $124,666.
State officials require districts to maintain an unspent balance of 10-15 percent of their total budget, which allows districts to continue to pay salaries and bills during the months of July, August and September when little tax revenue is coming in.
Fey says projections for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years don’t look better and school officials will have to make some hard decisions.
“We had a nice discussion about the viability of the districts and the future of the districts, from a financial sense only,” Fey told the Independent afterwards.
“Corwith-Wesley had a negative unspent balance in fiscal year 2011-2012 and LuVerne was positive. But the year before LuVerne had been negative (-$30,000),” Fey said. “The only saving graces we would have: 1) if our enrollment drastically increased, which it’s not going to and we know that. We’re on a downward slide. 2) If the state somehow throws a lot of money at us, which we know they are not going to do. 3) Or if our expenditures decrease significantly.”
“Quite frankly, we can’t cut any more. We are offering a good, solid program. Everything the state mandates, we offer. Any teachers we would cut, we would find ourselves not offering what we are required to offer,” Fey said.
“There is really nowhere to cut the amount of money we would need to cut to be able to continue long-term into the future,” Fey said.
The boards of education of the two districts are expected to have continued meetings in the future.