5-20-2017 - A $1.8 million deficit declared by Calhoun Schools which caused significant concern is now called a "casual deficit" by West Virginia Board of Education members.

That $1.8 million deficit no longer appears to have the county system in a crisis situation.

The state board approved plans for school boards in Boone and Calhoun counties to eliminate their deficits, which is a recurring deficit greater than 3 percent of the budget.

If the State Board had not approved the deficit plan, they would have declared a state of emergency in those counties and appointed a team of consultants to recommend changes.

Calhoun County Schools officials plan to eliminate stipends to service and professional employees, eliminate contract bus drivers, reduce child nutrition expenses and require all purchase orders to be approved by the superintendent and chief financial officer, among other things.

"These actions along with sound fiscal management stopped the further growth of the deficit and actually cut into the deficit by a small margin," reads Calhoun's plan. "This is the first time the deficit in Calhoun County has not demonstrated growth since 2010."

School officials said last year that getting the county school system out of deficit could take 30 years.

A county report said the $1.8 million deficit had been reduced by $50,000-$60,000 with the reorganization of the central office and the elimination of annual supplements issued to teachers and service personnel during better economic times. Numerous other deficit reduction plans were dropped.

The county could have reduced the deficit if it not had to pay several different legal fees, according to the plan.

Hur Herald from Sunny Cal
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