RCAPS eliminates clubs, sports to add to fund balance

Tim Webster, RCAPS superintendent
Tim Webster, RCAPS superintendent

REED CITY — Reed City Area Public Schools' board of education approved budget cuts in order to add to the district's savings for the end of the 2013-14 school year.

In the initial budget for the current school year, RCAPS fund balance was projected to be at $232,000 by June 2014. However, the fall count day showed 25 fewer students enrolled than originally budgeted for, which equates to more than $175,600 less in state aid than planned.

"That's what started us looking at budget cuts," said Superintendent Tim Webster. "We tried to pick things (to cut) that affected fewer students."

During a regular meeting on Monday, the board approved $58,500 worth of savings that came from eliminating recycle club, jazz band, vision screening, freshman volleyball, freshman football, freshman boys basketball, junior varsity golf, athletic transportation and other sources of expense.

Combined with a $60 per student increase in state aid and a $50 per student state equity payment, which previously were not included in the budget, RCAPS now plans to have $202,000 in its fund balance by the end of the school year. That fund balance would account for 1.5 percent of the district's total operating budget; the recommended level for fund equity is 10 percent to 15 percent.

Also at the meeting, the board:

  • Dropped Reed City High School's North Central Association accreditation, which was a cost-saving move. The high school still will operate under the Michigan School Improvement Plan, which is what the middle and elementary school do. "It's redundant now (to have the NCA accreditation)," said board president Dan Boyer. "We have other methods of accreditation.";
  • Introduced a first reading of 50 revised policies, new policies and policies to be deleted, per the recommendation of NEOLA, a company that develops school board policies and bylaws in compliance with current law;
  • Approved a resolution in support of the Reed City Public Library's application for a grant from the Michigan Department of Treasury; and
  • Approved the winter coach roster and a bid from Pro Turf Outdoor Services, LLC, of Big Rapids, to complete snow removal services this winter.

The next regular board meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Nov. 18 in the Reed City Middle School library.