District saves through reduced staff numbers
BIG RAPIDS — Crossroads Charter Academy is anticipating more students at the start of the next school year, board members learned at this week’s meeting.
During the annual budget hearing, the board discussed its current budget, the 2020-21 school year budget and what cuts are anticipated from both.
“We still don’t know what’s going to happen with this year’s budget,” Superintendent Chris White said. “There’s a lot of different proposals — even since the last meeting — about some federal funds that might come in and help or maybe not, and we don’t know if that will impact this year.”
The school district has built $325 per-pupil cuts into both the 2019-20 budget as well as next year’s budget.
This leaves the school district at a $411,000 deficit at the end of the current year.
Going into the 2020-21 academic year, White said the district would budget conservatively with 450 students.
“My concern this year more is the foundation allowance and I guess another spike in COVID-19, where people don’t want to send their students to school,” White said.
Currently, 400 students are enrolled at CCA, with more expected to enroll in August.
While budgeting conservatively with student numbers, Crossroads also is looking to save money through reduced staff numbers as well as through transportation.
“We do have some positions we haven’t filled that aren’t in the budget, so I’m hoping if the budget is better, we can fill those positions. If the budget isn’t, then we just won’t fill those positions,” White said.
While previously approving the leasing of several buses for the 2020-21 year, the district also will save additional funds by only leasing one bus. An additional bus was purchased from a charter school that was closing down.
White said the purchase of the former charter school’s bus should save the district about $20,000 over the next few years.
“I felt that was the smart thing to do not knowing anything about anything right now, with the budget as well as how many kids are actually going to be comfortable riding a bus when fall comes,” he said.