Lessons in Survival
"We would like (and are working toward) a 10 percent fund balance," writes Graden in an email. "A solid FB helps with cash flow and to deal with unforeseen expenses." Because of its low balance, the superintendent acknowledges, the district has "done a line of credit in the past"--meaning it had to borrow money to pay its bills.
"It's the new normal," says Graden. "Nobody is happy, but we stopped the bleeding in order to be sustainable. When revenues are flat, what else can you do?" While the superintendent says his district has "rebounded to a degree," he warns that, at best, state funding will "be flat for three or four more years, so we have to be very, very cautious."
Saline school board president Dave Holden hopes the state's done cutting education. "The leadership in Lansing and the governor realize they have squeezed all the blood they can get out of this rock." But Holden knows that whatever happens to the schools is up to the state because "we're held captive by Lansing."
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