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Published: Monday, 12/23/2013

Bedford Schools deficit plan ahead of schedule


Bedford Schools Chief Financial Officer Sharon Ramirez last week said she was cautiously optimistic the district will end the school year in the black, three years ahead of a schedule in its deficit-elimination plan filed with the Michigan Department of Education.

Her latest projection for the 2013-14 budget has the school system realizing a positive fund balance of $111,060 on June 30, she told the board at its committee of the whole meeting. She cautioned that even small unexpected expenses could obliterate the projected surplus, which amounts to 0.003 percent of the district’s $38 million operating budget.

In late October, the district’s auditor reported the 2012-13 deficit was smaller than forecast. Mrs. Ramirez attributed that smaller shortfall to lower employee costs, the result of employee pay and benefit concessions, especially in medical insurance.

Last week, the board also approved a new three-year contract with the five members of the schools’ skilled-trades bargaining unit that freezes pay. The contract is retroactive to July 1, expires June 30, 2016, and covers employees whose hourly pay ranges from $12 to $25.

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