Re-2 approves its proposed 2020-21 school year budget |

Re-2 approves its proposed 2020-21 school year budget

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Interim Garfield School District Re-2 Chief Financial Officer David Trautenberg and his finance team presented via Zoom a proposed budget of $63.1 million for the 2020-21 school year during Tuesday’s school board meeting.

The proposal is $4.2 million down from the 2019-20 budget.

Trautenberg said there is a lot going on as they wait for the Joint Budget Committee to present the Legislation On Normal Governance Bill to the governor, which is slated to happen the second week in June.

With the Colorado Statute requiring submission of a proposed budget to the Board of Education by June 1, Garfield School District Re-2 approved its 2020-21 budget proposal so it can move forward in the budget process.

“We’ve never had an issue with meeting the deadline, because usually this presentation is done in April. We wanted to make sure we didn’t run afoul of statute requirements,” Trautenberg said.

Trautenberg said that with the likely large reductions in K-12 total program funding, the district is looking at a $6.07 million reduction for the next school year.

Some of the shortfall will be mitigated by CARES funding the district has received from both federal and state levels.

Re-2 recently received $2.83 million from Gov. Jared Polis directed to local school districts from CARES funding. The funds are restricted and must be spent by December of this year on expenditures directly related to COVID-19 pandemic.

The district has set a time line for the budget development as it receives more information and plans to adopt the budget by the end of June.

“As we move further into knowing what the state will be giving us in terms of funding data, we will build out the budget more,” Trautenberg said. “We’re going to start next year with a nice reserve going into a very bad time.”

The district has set its priorities to maintain and improve instructional effectiveness, whether it is still doing distance learning or back in school.

Trautenberg said a disclaimer that they need to remember is that they cannot predict the COVID-19 pandemic epidemiology; the projection and the state of the district ability to manage can change at any time.

“This is just an exercise in managing life’s curve balls, and the more resilient we can show our kids and our community we are, I think the better off we are all going to be,” Trautenberg said. “We’re going to learn from this, and we are going to be better when we come out the other side.”

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