Plainwell schools plans budget adjustment

By: 
Daniel Pepper

Plainwell Community Schools’ budget picture appeared a little rosier as board members heard a report on the administration’s first recommended budget adjustment.
School board members heard the report at their Monday, Nov. 6, work session from finance director Melissa Gelbaugh.
The budget still shows a decline in the district’s fund balance by about $300,000, if the adjustment held.
“That’s normal for this time of year,” Gelbaugh said. “We started about $400,000 over, we’re at $300,000 now and we’ll continue to decrease that.”
Under the adjustment, the district’s total revenue is $26,758,809 and expenditures are $27,059,003.
The district estimates its student count to be up from the budgeted estimate of 2,760 to 2,790. The fall count appears to be about 2,800. That makes up a large portion of an over $750,000 increase in revenue.
Board member Kim Shafer asked about an increase in the special education line item. Gelbaugh said administrators had replaced a psychologist with another special education teacher.
Gelbaugh said the school was still waiting for the state to correct a mistake it had made calculating money to help at risk students.
“We talked at the time about using that to add a position, but we decided to wait to see if we actually get that funding,” she said. “We want to use those funds to help students, but we’re being cautious.”
Board president Amy Blades thanked Gelbaugh for the report.
“You’re super transparent and I appreciate that,” Blades said.
Blades said the board would vote on the budget adjustment at its Monday, Nov. 20, regular meeting.

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