The Mineral Point School Board held a special meeting Wednesday, June 30 to address budget issues for the 2021-22 school year.

Video link:

By a 4-2 vote (with Steffes and Sullivan voting no and Dunn absent), the Board voted to approve the preliminary budget for the 2021-22 school year. This allows the district to start making purchases in preparation for the upcoming school year. The final budget will be approved in the fall.

Busch reported there was a finance committee meeting Tuesday evening to discuss the current deficit of $179,444.  After hearing all possible suggestions, the district is able to present a balanced budget for approval. 

The Board tabled the preliminary budget approval from its regular June meeting to this special meeting, hoping to gain some more insight during the past few weeks as to what the state was going to offer for aid. In order to qualify for federal ESSER money, the state needed to increase funding for schools. As of this writing, the state plans to spend more money on schools in the form of property tax relief to the taxpayers, but the money will not go directly to schools.

Various scenarios at the finance meeting were discussed to cover the deficit. One included taking money out of fund balance (which the committee was opposed to). 

It is expected at the end of this 2020-21 school year there will be approximately $100,000 of surplus that can be put into Fund 46 (capital maintenance fund). A scenario presented would mean the capital maintenance budget for 2021-22 could be reduced by $100,000.

The district also has an opportunity with grants and ESSER funds to help cover salaries and claim for reimbursement for social worker job duties, and a recategorization of another staff member’s salary, for a total of approximately $80,000.

The finance committee also stressed this is just a temporary fix and the finance and personnel committees should begin meeting to start discussions around the 2022-23 budget.

(Go to the five minute mark of the video)

Other business:

— The District received and evaluated proposals from Farmers Savings Bank and Mound City Bank for a 1-year period for a $1,500,000 Line of Credit for short term borrowing needs in between state aid payments. 

By a 5-1 vote (with Steffes voting no and Dunn absent), the Board approved the line of credit from Farmers Savings Bank with a lower interest rate.

(Go to the 41 minute, 30 second mark)

— The Board unanimously approved (with Dunn absent) a purchase in excess of $5,000 (math workbook elementary materials). (Go to the 46 minute, 30 second mark)

— The Board unanimously approved (with Dunn absent) an elementary physical education intern for fall and spring semester of the 2021-22 school year. This will help the district meet the required physical education instructional minutes. This will be paid for by ESSER monies. (Go to the 49 minute, 30 second mark)