Flint, MI— The Flint Schools Board of Education passed a budget June 28 that projects a $7.8 million operating deficit for the 2021-2022 school year. 

But with nearly $100 million in COVID relief funds coming to the district, the budget is likely to change drastically in the near future. 

As it stands, the Michigan legislature has yet to release the funds to school districts.

Following a regular board meeting on June 16, the board held a special budget meeting at Accelerated Learning Academy June 28. It was the first in-person meeting in more than a year. 

Though the board was set to approve the budget on June 16, board members postponed the vote, citing a lack of information and inadequate time to prepare. 

Deputy Director of Finance Ayunna Dompreh presented the plan, which included $19 million in COVID relief funds as well as an additional $1 million from local tax revenues. Dompreh said these funds were not included in the budget plan presented on June 16 as the district received new information the following day.  

For fiscal year 2021-2022, the district plans to begin with a positive fund balance of $11,856,106. Flint schools is predicting $88,000,159 in revenue and $71,138,457 in expenditures, leaving a remaining $28, 717, 808 in the general fund. 

Though the district will begin 2022 with a positive balance, Flint schools still predicts an overall operating deficit of $7,770,124 for the year. 

Dompreh said district’s foundation allowance—the minimum amount the state allocates per student—will likely increase, but it is not known by how much. Flint schools will amend the budget once the amount is determined.

Overall, the district is expecting a decrease in state aid. 

In August 2020, Governor Gretchen Whitmer passed a series of bills that altered the way student Count Day totals applied to school funding. The bills aimed to address the challenges of educating students during a pandemic.

The student count blend was 75% weighted for the previous year’s count and 25% weighted for the student count taken on October 7, 2020. 

Beginning in fall, the blend will return to the traditional 90/10 weighted formula: 90% weighted for fall attendance and 10% weighted for the prior spring.

Dompreh said the student population is expected to decrease from 3,200 students to 2,991.72. She added that this number will change once the district gets an official count in October. At that time, the district plans to make the necessary budget amendments. 

The district plans on amending the budget once the state disperses the additional $100 million COVID relief funds, Dompreh said. 

Carmen Nesbitt is a journalist with diverse experience in news reporting and feature writing. She wrote for Hour Detroit and SEEN Magazine before joining the Flint Beat news team as an education and public...