Nevis School budget facing deficit for 2022-23 – Park Rapids Enterprise

The Nevis School Board approved the 2023 operating budget at the June 27 meeting with revenues of $8,455,150 and expenditures of $8,650,525.

With expenditures exceeding revenue by $195,375 in Nevis School’s preliminary fiscal year 2022-23 budget, the district will look for opportunities for cost saving measures.

Superintendent Gregg Parks said the 2023 budget revenues decreased $15,074 compared to 2022, citing several factors:

  • A net loss of up to five students since last year. Most of the formula allowance for schools is based upon Average Daily Membership. Parks said the district lost $60,000 as a result.
  • A loss in compensatory revenue. The district’s free and reduced lunch (FRL) percentage has reduced steadily from a high of 56% to 36% because of families not applying for the program, and an increase in the number of families no longer qualifying for FRL due to finding quality jobs in the region. Compensatory revenue is down $168,740 compared to last year.

Overall expenditures went down by $41,427 in comparison to last year. Salary expenditures increased by $206,531 while non-salary expenditures decreased by $247,958. The district is experiencing increases in operating costs due to inflationary increases in building heating costs, increases in transportation, food and utility costs and increases in negotiated salaries.
Parks said parents can help the district by filling out the free and reduced lunch form, which is used in determining the amount of compensatory revenue the district receives. Last year, when all students received a free lunch, he said few parents filled out the forms. Parents will be contacted and encouraged to fill out the FRL application this summer for the coming school year, which is especially important since the free lunch program may be discontinued.

“The free lunch option is still on the docket at the federal level as a possibility, though,” Parks added.

The district’s total cash balance as reported at Monday night’s meeting was $2,173,349.

“Moving forward, Nevis School has the ability to weather short-term deficit spending, but will have to look for opportunities to make programming adjustments if a downward trend continues,” Parks said.

Principal Brian Michaelson reported enrollment at the end of May was 580 students, and that 22 students are currently on the waiting list for fall.


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