Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Superintendent search draws on low fund balance


October 5, 2017

Haines Borough School District Interim Superintendent Rich Carlson said Tuesday he is “cautiously optimistic” about the district’s budget situation for the coming year.

The school district is entering its enrollment count period this month. An official student count will be sent to the state after Oct. 27, which will determine how much funding the district will receive.

Carlson said tentatively, as of last week, enrollment is at 257 fulltime students, 13 correspondence students and three intensive-needs students.

In June, at the end of the fiscal year, the board projected a fund balance of $436,000.

“We’re also projecting a draw on fund balance this year of $191,376, and that did not include some unforeseen expenditures that occurred such as the payout of the former superintendent, some increased legal expenses and the superintendent search,” Carlson said.

He estimated those unforeseen costs would amount to about $84,000.

“Overall, I’m projecting that we, right now at this point, will need a draw on our fund balance of about $250,000. That will leave us at the end of this year with a fund balance of $186,000 and change. That simply is too little of a cushion. So it really does become important that we take a look at that $250,000 draw on fund balance and attempt to significantly reduce that, and if not we’re going to be going into FY19 with a very, very small fund balance,” he said.

“If we hold right now where we’re at in terms of our enrollment, we’ll be ok,” Carlson said. “We’ll reduce that draw on fund balance a fairly significant amount.”

Carlson said Wednesday he hadn’t run the numbers to see exactly how much could be saved if enrollment is similar to last week’s count.

He said the district needs to impose some cost controls, and only spend where the schools will get “the biggest bang for the buck.”

“There is a point where you can draw things in and not affect the quality of education, and that’s going to be the goal,” Carlson said.

The board will have a budget workshop on Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. in the school library.


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