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Jobs Fund money to help with budget

ELLSWORTH -- The Ellsworth School District will use a Federal Education Jobs Fund award to help with the budget.

The local schools have received $390,122 to be applied toward either existing jobs or others as part of expansion in the 2010-11 and/or 2011-12 school terms, Supt. Barry Cain explained. Following a workshop last week, School Board members approved applying the funds toward existing costs in the present term.

"If we use it now, it could mean breaking even on the budget," Cain said.

The projected deficit for the 2011-12 term is $793,349, based on current figures available from the state, the superintendent said. However, the Wisconsin Legislature has yet to determine the exact funding. There's a potential for a reduction, he has learned, in which case the local deficit might increase up to $962,549, so it was recommended the board use the federal funds to address existing expenditures.

Cain stressed the district has made budget cuts for a number of years and the direction will eventually result in being unable to maintain programs for educating students. Calling this "a crisis situation," he indicated the matter will have to be put to district residents in a referendum at some point in the future.