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CCA School Board begins 2010-11 budget planning

TIFFIN — Between budget shortfalls at the state level, and lingering questions about the future of state school funding, the board of directors for the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) School District have a daunting challenge ahead of them in planning the 2010-2011 budget.
The debate began with a Feb. 17 work session at the high school library with a history lesson and crash course in the complexities of Iowa schools funding mechanisms and formulas.
“We had nothing to go on last year, we had to make assumptions,” Superintendent Paula Vincent said, explaining how their best guess wasn’t good enough. “We had a budget set at $14 million,” she said, but only a few months into the year “the state said ‘oops’ we can’t fund it.”
The district lost approximately $666,000.
“We chose not to make adjustments,” Vincent said, other than for things they could control, like heat in the buildings. “Our faculty are getting used to, I’m sorry to say, wearing heavy clothes.”
Vincent noted the district will still run about a $300,000 deficit.
She added it appeared there would be less money from the state than initially promised, so the district made some reductions in anticipation.
“We hoped we were leveling the playing field,” she said.
What happened was more significant.
“We assumed a 5 percent across-the-board cut was coming. Well, we got a 5 percent cut plus a 10 percent cut.\