TEMPERANCE -- The Bedford Board of Education Thursday night adopted a $41.16 million operating budget that leaves the district with a $2.36 million deficit at the end of the 2011-2012 school year. The shortfall is projected even with the $2.4 million in cuts the board has made that include the closing of Smith Road Elementary School and the laying off of 16 elementary teachers.
The school system is beset by rising costs, declining state funding, and a shrinking enrollment, according to Josh Dyer, its chief financial officer. Enrollment is expected to decline by 120 students in the next school year, he said. That alone will reduce the Bedford schools' state funding by more than $820,000, he added.
The district now must submit a deficit-elimination plan to the Michigan Department of Education that closes the spending shortfall over the next two years.