Budget shortfalls ahead

By Emily Bialkowski

Caledonia Argus


During his administrative report at the Feb. 21 Caledonia School Board meeting, Superintendent Ben Barton said there will be approximately 35 to 40 less students enrolled in District 299 next year. The drop in student population means less state aid to the tune of $350,000.

“We have to have a balanced budget. We don’t have a [large] general fund to dip into,” Barton warned.
“We know we’re going to have to reduce our budget.”

The superintendent is putting together a time line to address the budget to avoid last-minute decision making. He also said the projections are based on state aid as it is funded today. The picture could improve if the legislature adjusts school funding to the positive. For planning purposes, the district isn’t holding its breath on that.