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Polk school board passes interim budget, waits to hear from state

The Polk County Board of Education passed an interim budget Thursday night that allows the school system to continue paying bills once the new fiscal year begins July 1.

The budget contains no details on expected revenue or spending because Polk County Schools, and every other district in the state, is still waiting to hear how much funding will be available from the state. That information may not come for another month or more.

This is so we can continue paying bills until they (state legislators) pass a formal budget resolution in August, or September, or October or December…, said Polk County Schools Finance Officer Charlotte Sullivan, noting the uncertainty of the state budget.

Sullivan and Polk County Schools Supt. Bill Miller said they expect the state will give them at least some guidance on allowable spending levels before school resumes in August. Sullivan said the state advised in a conference call Thursday that it might, for instance, tell school districts they can spend with the assumption of having 85 percent of their current year budget, ending June 30.

Supt. Bill Miller has said Polk County Schools has been planning with the expectation that it will lose about $750,000 to $1 million of state funding in the new fiscal year. The school district has already made some personnel cuts to support and administrative staff and decided it wont replace retiring teachers. The district also gained permission to use some of its capital funding next year for operations.

The Polk County Board of Education does not have a regularly scheduled meeting in July, but may have to call a special meeting over the summer if it receives budget guidance from the state.