Geronimo schools among winners
Sun, 01/26/2014 - 2:59am Staff
Cache, Eldorado among state aid losers
Midterm adjustments are usually a blip on the financial radar screen for most schools, but this year Southwest Oklahoma had a number of big winners and some big losers.
Schools are allocated state aid each year after the Legislature approves funding for public education, but those numbers are adjusted after student attendance is calculated each fall and other school revenues are accounted for.
By far the biggest winner by percentage was Lone Wolf in Kiowa County, which saw its state aid jump more than $71,000, a gain of 71 percent. Superintendent James Sutherland said it represents a reversal from the decrease in funding the district received at mid-year 2013.
"We were starved a little bit last year and had been struggling," he said. "Now we pay out at the end of the year and still have a little bit of money left."
Sutherland said the district has seen an increase of 18 students over the same period last year, which contributed to the upward funding adjustment. The district now has 104 students in grades K-12.
"We're thankful that we received a mid-year adjustment this year," he said.
Another winner was Big Pasture in Cotton County, whose state aid rose 16.1 percent from the initial allocation.
Superintendent Nate Lunn said he was pleased to have a little bit more money coming in. That will help the district's cash flow, especially in November and December, which are the two tightest budget months, he said.
The district has had to use of almost all its reserves, and the extra money will help rebuild them.
"Now we will have a little bit more cushion," he said.
He said enrollment is up this year by 10 percent. "There is no one single thing ... just several families moving in," he said.
The superintendent credits the teachers and staff for working together during a difficult financial time.