District’s annual budget process draws to a close

LAPEER, Michigan – The Lapeer Community Schools Central Office Leadership Team (COLT), working alongside the Board of Education and representatives of all employee groups, is in the final stages of its annual budget process. Under state law, boards of education must pass a balanced budget prior to the start of the fiscal year (July 1).

As has been the case for many years, District officials are tasked with balancing a budget that continues to be adversely impacted by lower birth rates and, as a result, declining enrollment. This means that, on an annual basis, the District must reconcile a loss in revenue between $1-1.5 million.

 “Our current fiscal reality demands a high degree of innovation with respect to budgeting,” said LCS Superintendent Matt Wandrie. “We rank very high statewide in terms of efficiency, so there’s very little fat to cut in most cases. It’s a challenge.”

Wandrie said the budget process of the future will be heavily influenced by the creation of the District’s next long-term strategic plan, starting this fall.

 “The last six years have led us down a pathway of innovation, but there’s more to be done,” he said. “We must evaluate, from a holistic perspective, how we function as an organization. We must be open to new and creative ways to fulfill our core mission. It’s going to require a willingness to consider new and creative ways to deliver on our promise to all students.”

Pending board approval, the coming school year will bring a few changes to the manner in which we manage facilities, especially at the elementary level. These changes will ultimately result in targeted staffing reductions, but also provide opportunities to expand our focus on literacy with a consistent structure at the K-5 level.

The District will also continue to explore efficiencies within our transportation department as well as further investment in programs that attract new students to the District.

The Board of Education will consider the 2017-18 budget adoption at its regular meeting on June 22, 2017.

For more information, please contact Jared Field at jfield@lapeerschools.org.

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