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Mentor Schools CFO Talks State Budget Cuts

CFO Daniel Wilson says school district will have about $1.7 million less next school year

The state legislature's conference committee has agreed upon a new two-year budget for the state of Ohio.

This means, after months of estimates and forecasts, local schools, governments and libraries have a better sense of what their state funding will look like for the next two years.

Mentor Schools CFO Daniel Wilson said the district will receive about $10.6 million fewer dollars from the state over the next two years as compared to 2010-2011 funding levels.

However, $2.5 million of that was in stimulus funding, which was one-time money that the district did not expect to get.

Overall, Wilson said Mentor Schools is ready for this leaner state budget because it had prepared for a "worst-case scenario."

Because of the district's efforts to cut costs in the last few years, the new funding levels would only mean $1.7 million less than was previously expected for 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years.

Consequently, instead of panicking about budget cuts, the district's budget is balanced through the 2012-2013 school year, Wilson said.

Some of the district's cost-cutting efforts include , buyouts, administrative reorganizations, and a one-year contract extension with all the district's unions.

Wilson added that both of the district's unions accepted having no pay raise and paying more for their insurance next year to help balance the books.

By 2013-2014, the district anticipates it will be in the red, Wilson said. However, there are two big x-factors that could affect the district's budget for better or worse by that far in the future.

"The huge unknowns are how quickly will the economy recover and what will the next state budget look like," he said.

Check out Mentor Patch's previous interview with Wilson to see .

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