EVART — After concerns with Evart Public Schools’ fund balance, district officials took a small sigh of relief when they learned their loss of $170,786 was actually a gain of $19,464.

At the end of each school year, Evart Public Schools investigates its fund balance to determine what it will have for the next year.

When the district reviewed the numbers in June 2014, it projected to have a fund balance for the 2014-15 school year of $572,458.

“We were really concerned our fund balance was getting too low because with that balance, the district was worried we would overspend by $170,786, leaving our balance at $401,672 for the following year,” said Howard Hyde, superintendent for Evart Public Schools. “But when our audit was complete during the summer, our fund balance was actually $667,950.”

That fund balance created an extra $19,464 that will go into next year’s balance.

“Right now, that $19,464 is a projected amount,” Hyde said. “Many factors could alter that amount for next year, such as the diesel price for the buses.”

According to Hyde, several factors contributed to the savings, including the retirement of teachers giving the district the ability to hire in new teachers with lower salaries and the qualification in the Three-Year Blend program.

The Three-Year Blend program allows the district to average the student count for the past three years instead of using the number of students for just the current school year.

The program boosted the student count from around 895 students to an average of 924 students.

“When we first learned about our student count, the district was really concerned because we thought the budget would be much worse,” said Hyde. “However, the loss in students did qualify us for the program and it was really helpful because without it, we were projected to have a loss of $212,527.”