STANTON — Like a wobbly gait of a toddler, Central Montcalm Public School took baby steps in the right direction.
On Wednesday evening, the school board approved amendments to two different funds after hearing from Chief School Business Official Ron Simon that the district had gained revenue in both the general fund and food service fund.
“This is good news, positive news,” Simon said. “I’m not doing cartwheels yet, but we are up.”
Several factors account for the gain in revenue in the general fund, Simon said.
“Enrollment was up 22 students from what you projected in June, which brought in increased revenue,” he explained.
The Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) also saw an increase in attendance, garnering an additional $82,000, along with renting space to the ombudsman program and the Montcalm Area Intermediate School District classrooms.
“When you did your projected budget in June, you were not planning on having the Adult Education program. Adding it brought in $350,000 in revenue,” Simon said, “Because it and the GSRP were not initially budgeted, you also had some expenses in calling back teachers, but still saw a gain in revenue.”
Small adjustments in expenses such as sixth grade books, and bus purchases, did see adjustments in expenses, but the district still made a four percent gain.
“I’m glad we are moving in the right direction,” Board President Roxanne Switzer said. “It’s baby steps, but we are getting there.”
The food service budget saw changes in staffing, creative scheduling, and other small adjustments to also gain, said Simon.
“There were also some expenses that were eliminated,” he added. “The district had a nutritionist. It was expensive, a luxury, really, and the position was eliminated. Shuffling hours in staffing has helped. It’s a combination of a lot of little things. The staff does a good job providing a service to students with the resources you have.”
All in all, the food service program saw a 10 percent gain in revenues.
“Part of it was we were able to save on costs with salaries and budgets through a change in personnel and cuts in staffing and other awful things,” Superintendent Kristi Teall said.
“And for a while there we were not sure where the money was going, we couldn’t really answer that question, but now we can,” board member Mark Grossbauer said.
The board also conducted an organizational meeting, with the election of officers.
Roxanne Switzer was re-elected board president, with Todd Giles now serving as vice president. Bill Collins was re-elected secretary and Jim Rogers was chosen as treasurer. Rounding out the board are trustees Bill Simpson and Mike Barnwell, who was absent.
Correspondent Lori Hansen is a Greenville-area resident.