Stimulus funds buffered Allegan budget

ALLEGAN, Mich. — Federal stimulus money worked to buffer the Allegan Public Schools budget in the past year, The Allegan County News reported, helping to create a fund balance that will pay for a projected $900,000 gap between spending and revenue in 2011-2012.

The general fund balance is projected to be $3.1 million as of the close of this fiscal year and $2.2 million the following year, business manager Amy Christman told school board members at a recent meeting, The News reported.

Spending increases next year include $475,000 more in retirement benefit costs, a $280,000 increase in health insurance, a 1 percent pay raise for employees as well as “step” increases for teachers, and about $160,000 to shift to all-day kindergarten, The News reported.

The district estimates it will save $322,000 through an early retirement incentive program; it also has reduced spending on supplies, athletics, maintenance and technology, according to The News.

The Allegan County News, “School deficit reaches $900K,” June 15, 2011

Michigan Capitol Con fidential, “Politicians May Prop Up - But Not Reform - ‘One of the Best Public Pensions Around,’” May 20, 2011