RCAS prepares for budget outlook
RCAS Superintendent Dr. Lori Simon says with so little information right now, the district is getting ready for what their budget may look like after COVID-19 leaves it’s mark on South Dakota’s annual income.
RAPID CITY, S.D. — The best way to put it — RCAS is preparing. Simon says until the Legislature meets in special session in June, they don’t know how much we’ll need to make up for in the budget for next year.
Simon says, “In a real worse case scenario we are beginning to look at where could we make potential, general fund budget cuts if we really need to. We don’t believe we will be in that position if we end up in a zero or even maybe a minus 1 or minus 2 % budget scenario.”
They want to be prepared and are in the process of putting together an itemized list of all the savings they expect from this current budget year in terms of busing students, substitute teachers, and electricity costs.
The savings can carry into next year to offset any potential cuts.
Simon says, “We are looking at other areas within our general fund budget to save money and make cuts.”
RCAS is also considering how to best use CARES ACT funds, which has limited uses. RCAS anticipates receiving approximately 4.5 million dollars in CARES funds, minus a small portion that will go to our local private schools.
“We are however, looking at within the criteria that has been determined for those CARES funds, what can we purchase or do now so that we don’t have to use perhaps capital outlay or other funds,” says Simon.
They will be making a decision on that in next couple of weeks at the semester’s final board meeting in May.
Dr. Simon says funds could go toward purchasing lap tops for students and training teachers to get on a single platform for distance learning — in case students and teachers are forced to be flexible into the next semester.