Once again this spring, the Ripon Area School District expects it will have to slash hundreds of thousands of dollars from next school year’s budget to break even.

   But unlike this time last year, no offsetting cuts have been publicly released to show how the district will weather the latest fiscal storm.

   “As we prepare our 2019-20 budget, the Ripon Area School District faces a significant deficit,” district business manager Jonah Adams wrote in a March 13 memo to the School Board. “... At this time, we anticipate a budget deficit of approximately $518,000 for 2019-20. This number will change as we seek additional savings.”

   While changes to state aid could help, the best-case scenario appears to account for only about 55 percent of that shortfall.

   Significant projected deficits are not uncommon at this time of year, though never welcome. Last year, the district announced at a finance committee meeting that the 2018-19 budget was expected to face a $700,000 shortfall.

   But at that same meeting, Superintendent Mary Whitrock provided a list of possible tweaks and reductions, totalling an estimate of $694,768 in cost savings. Thus far, potential savings publicly identified hardly put a dent in the expected shortfall.

   A request for more information made to Whitrock to see if additional savings has been identified was not returned as of press time due to the district’s spring break.

Read the full story in the March 21, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.