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Schools get more Impact Aid

The Oak Harbor School District received a funding boost that should help offset some losses in other areas.

The district received an additional $789,000 in federal Impact Aid funding, bringing its total for the year to $5.8 million, which is $700,000 more than budgeted.

Superintendent Rick Schulte said the funding is a payment from the 2003 fiscal year. It normally takes two years for school districts to receive their final Impact Aid payment. He said the school district received the bulk of the Impact Aid money two years ago along with other districts in the nation. After school districts receive their initial payment, any extra money is dispersed.

Impact Aid is given to school districts nationwide that are affected by military bases, reservations, or families that have subsidized housing.

With the extra funding, the school board can consider its impact on the district’s $42 million budget.

Schulte said during Tuesday’s school board meeting that the district saw some funding reductions in other areas. In transportation, the district is showing a loss of $80,000 in revenue and a $67,000 increase in expenses. It also lost an additional $400,000 in state money when enrollment came in lower than projected. Schulte said half of that money was recouped by not filling vacant teacher positions at the beginning of the school year.

The school district is also seeing a $125,000 reduction in special education funding.

As officials sort out next year’s budget, Schulte said early estimates put the school district’s fund balance at $1.9 million, which falls within the goal of having a 3 percent to 5 percent fund balance every year.

When working out next year’s budget, Schulte said it’s fiscally prudent to be conservative with revenue projections.

The school district will have unanswered questions even after it approves the budget later this summer. Actual enrollment isn’t known until school starts and Impact Aid payments isn’t known until December.

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