Pine River-Backus School District: Approximately 3% drop in revenues and expenses expected

The preliminary budget that the Pine River-Backus School Board approved at the regular meeting on Monday, June 21 provides for a reduction in general fund expenses and revenues for 2021-2022.

Overall revenues are expected to decrease by $ 383,509 (3%) while overall expenses are expected to decrease by $ 395,720 (2.9%).

General fund revenues are expected to decrease by $ 529,323. The drop in enrollment projections for the 2021-2022 school year translates into a decrease in state aid in general education, learning and development, and staff development.

The district provided free meals to all students, regardless of income, as part of the Seamless Summer Meal Program. Compensatory aid is determined by the number of students eligible for free / reduced meal status. With the limited number of free / reduced meal requests received, the district will see a decrease in compensatory assistance of $ 312,922.

The anticipated end of major coronavirus-related expenses related to personnel, disinfection, social distancing, personal protective equipment and distance learning equipment is responsible for $ 472,054 in 2020-2021 expenses and is projected to $ 447,151 in expenses for the 2021-2022 budget.

In addition, the district is not budgeting for any construction projects for 2021-2022, resulting in a decrease of $ 401,765 (100%) in construction expenses compared to 2020-2021.

The board unanimously approved the preliminary budget.

In other Monday business, counsel:

  • I learned that only 40 students recommended for the summer school were enrolled, leaving places available for more. There will be further attempts to contact families with eligible children.
  • I learned that the school district will continue to have snow days, although weather-related cancellations that can be predicted well in advance can instead shift to e-learning days.
  • I learned that the school district suffers from a shortage of candidates in all positions, but especially for bus drivers. The district is looking for applications for replacements, temporary drivers and people who can drive in the afternoon but not in the morning or vice versa.
  • Contracts awarded for diesel at Northern Star Cooperative, for garbage collection at Waste Partners, for bread and related products at Pan-O-Gold, and for milk and related products at Prairie Farms.
  • accepted the resignations of Kristin Lindholm, English / Language Arts teacher; goalie Brady Niskanen; and bus drivers Gerald Logelin, Dan Ronning and Dan Pattinson.
  • Accepted the termination of paraprofessional Joshua Lundquist.
  • Accepted to hire Rebecca Stabenow as a high school special education teacher, Nathan Fischer as a high school counselor, Matthew Casperson as a physical education teacher and Kaden Swenson as a babysitter.

Travis Grimler is a writer for the weekly Pineandlakes Echo Journal in Pequot Lakes / Pine River. He can be reached at 218-855-5853 or [email protected]

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