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Richfield Schools Prepare for Possible Government Shutdown

The Richfield School Board approved funding preparations in the case of a possible state shutdown, in addition to approving next year's budget.

In a district challenged by a , the Richfield School Board made preparations in anticipation of a possible state government shutdown on July 1, 2011 that could lead to "limited or uneven state aid payments."

At its June 13 meeting the board adopted a resolution that would allow the sale of up to $13 million worth of bonds in order to meet the current expenditures should a shutdown occur.

District Business Manager Michael Schwartz said the cost of the bond sale is budgeted for the 2011-2012 school year and the decision ensures the funds can be appropriated if need be.

"Passing the resolution does not obligate the district to sell the bonds; it provides the documentation needed from the Minnesota Department of Education to sell the bonds in the event there is a government shutdown," he said in a statement to the board.

In addition to passing the bond resolution, general spending for the next school year was also discussed and the board adopted its 2011-12 budget, which was presented by Supervisor of Financial Services Jason Mutzenberger.

"We're projecting general fund expenditures to exceed their revenues by $2.5 million, resulting in an ending unreserved fund balance of $1.4 million," Mutzenberger said.

He said the $2.5 million reduction is mainly attributed to decreases in state and federal funding, which the . Further, the decrease in federal funds is due to an expiration of the both stimulus and education jobs funds.

So, how is all the money being spent?

The district's overall expenditure budget is $62.5 million and general fund spending per pupil is projected at $12,280, with total K-12 enrollment projected at 4,137 students. Further, food and nutrition services is projected at $188,194, community education and services spending is projected at $142,561 and debt financing is projected at $1 million.

Property taxes are expected to make up 27 percent of all funding for next year with the exception of capital projects and other post-employment benefits. State aid is projected to provide 67 percent of funding. The remaining will come from a variety of sources including, federal aid, services provided, fees and other miscellaneous sources.

The next school board meeting is at 7 p.m. July 11 at the Richfield School District Offices at .

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