CLEARFIELD – On Monday night, the Clearfield Area school board voted, 6-0, to approve its tentative 2021-22 budget without a tax increase.
The district’s budget anticipates $42.7 million in total revenues and $45.6 million in total expenditures, leaving a $2.9 million deficit.
Business Administrator Sam Maney explained that though the district’s currently short with an operating deficit, it will have COVID grant funds to cover mainly the “sky-rocketing costs” for its outside cyber/charter tuition and its own cyber services.
“We will use those grant monies to get us down to a very manageable [deficit] – just under $125,000,” he said, “and then hopefully with conservative budgeting between now and the end of the year, we can turn that number to a very small deficit or even a positive with a surplus.”
Because of COVID’s adverse effects on the district’s current-year budget, he’s increased its budgetary reserve fund for 2021-22 by $1.7 million to help with any future, unexpected rises in expenses, such as with cyber-charter tuition.
As of June 30, 2020, Maney said the district’s general fund balance was $14.96 million; it anticipates the current year ending with an approximate $124,496 deficit and having a fund balance of $14.84 million on June 30, 2021 and of $11.90 million on June 30,2022.
The board also approved the tentative capital projects and cafeteria fund budgets totaling $756,000 and $1.65 million, respectively. The cafeteria budget includes no anticipated contribution from the district’s general fund for next year, according to Maney.
He said beginning with the 2018-19 school year, the district operated under the Community Eligibility Provision, providing all school breakfasts and lunches for free to students.
Ala carta sales are still made available to students on a prepaid or cash only basis. “It’s the best thing we’ve ever done,” he said, “and neighboring schools are envious. It’s really paid off for us.”
Maney noted that the district’s original CEP application is good through the 2021-22 school year, but has already been extended another four years.
Board members Greg Clarke, Susan Mikesell, Mary Anne Jackson, Dr. Michael Spencer, Shawna Rothrock and Gail Ralston were present for the special voting meeting on the tentative budget.
Board members Larry Putt, president, Tim Morgan and Phil Carr were absent; Clarke conducted the meeting. The tentative budget is available for public inspection and will be finalized in June.