With Nebraska facing what may be a 700-million-dollar budget gap and federal stimulus money fading, schools are certain to see fewer state dollars. Governor Dave Heineman has already warned school leaders to be ready for the “cliff effect.”
Randy Anderson, superintendent of the Crofton and Hartington Public School Districts, says they have heard the warnings and are planning accordingly.
“We’ve been careful with our spending,” Anderson says. “We’ve tried to keep programs strong and when we have had the opportunity to reduce staff through normal attrition to save our district some money, we’ve done that. We have utilized that money to help support programs down the road.”
Anderson says they have seen state aid diminish due to declining enrollments. “We do anticipate that we will begin to lose even more state aid just simply because of the decreasing numbers and we need to be ready for that,” he says.
He says the board has made good decisions that should “keep this school system rather strong for quite some time.” Anderson says as state aid drops, there is a possibility that there will be more reliance on local property taxes.
Anderson says they’ve tried, in both districts, to maintain what he calls a “respectable tax levy” and he doesn’t expect either district to have to increase their levies by a great percentage.
Thanks to Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton