One of the questions that's come up is why the school board didn't dip into its rainy day fund on Monday to help clear the $39.3 million deficit.
The answer, according to school administrators, is that it would have been against board policy. The school board adopted a policy in December which says, among other things, it will not use more than 50 percent of its July 1 undesignated operating fund balance to provide funding for the following year's annual budget.
The undesignated operating fund balance as of July 1 was $15,333,685. The board had already agreed in its budget request to use $7.5 million from the fund balance to balance the budget, leaving only around $166,000 left to use.
That reigned in the board's hopes on Monday to avoid making some cuts
The school board adopted the policy because of concerns it had used the rainy day fund too heavily in past years, potentially leaving it too low to deal with emergencies.
Some county commissioners don't believe the school board should have a fund balance. They say the school board should ask the county for money if there's an emergency. That idea hasn't been well received by school board members.
Some of you have talked about a "$40 million slush fund" over the years.
Mark Winters, the school district's chief finance officer, argues that it's a misnomer. He said much of the fund balance is designated for other uses such as dealing with potential payouts for the dental insurance and workmans comp.
Winters said the school board can only use the undesignated fund balance for balancing the budget.
School board members have frequently complained that no one talks about the county's fund balance. School board member Horace Tart said that if people are going to accuse the school board of having a "$40 million slush fund" then they should ask about the county's "$798 million slush fund."
Click here for the school district's explanation of fund balance from the budget.
Click here for the list of cuts adopted by the board on Monday to balance the budget.