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Jamestown School District is Dealing with an $800K Dollar Defici - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Jamestown School District is Dealing with an $800K Dollar Deficit

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Almost two million dollars in the red and one local school district is trying to make changes to save some cash. The Jamestown Public School District is looking at a projected deficit of 1 point 8 million dollars next school year. Valley News team's Eric Crest has more on an increasing problem for schools that is happening across the state, despite a surplus at the state level.

At Jamestown Public Schools most students won't even notice the changes made next year to deflate their growing deficit.

"Right now we are operating this school year with an 800 thousand dollar deficit and we're projecting next year a 1.8 million dollar deficit," says Jamestown Public Schools Superintendent Rob Lech.

The district will get by with a proposed slight increase to taxes.

"The rough calculation for a 100 thousand dollar home... we anticipate that being about 20 dollars in taxes," says Lech.

They will also have to eliminate a class according to Lech.

"That means the reduction of a foreign language," Lech says.

The district will also not rehire some positions after this school year.

"We also have staff turnover, some attributions and retirement. So there's some savings there," says Lech.

But some may be asking, why doesn't the state step up? North Dakota has the money. State Representative, Jessica Haak of District 12, says the state has though. By increasing state education funding recently. And after all, as Haak puts it, it's up to this community to make the tough decisions.

"We want local leaders to make these decisions. So maybe the best conversations that can be had is with local leaders on the school board or system as to what's going on. How are we operating like this," Haak says.

The issue of a deficit is far from over though. This is just phase one with phase two coming next year. And who knows what kind of cuts that could bring.

"If we don't do something now we're going to have even more difficult situations in the future," says Lech.

So for the time being the slow and measured approach, with small cuts here and there, will get the Jamestown School District through the year.

"Should we be moving hard and fast? I don't think so. I think we should be doing a measured approach. Because if we do it hard and fast, then next year any number of factors can come into play. And then we might not need that many cuts or need more teachers," adds Haak.

Jamestown's superintendent adds they do expect the school district to grow in the years to come. And they hope that an influx of state funds will continue to help them compensate for their growth.

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