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Swedeborg's financial situation improves slightly, superintendent says
SWEDEBORG, Mo. (May 11, 2010) — Finances are improving in the Swedeborg R-III School District, Superintendent Joe Dunlap reported Monday night, even though the district’s fund balances remain low.

Dunlap told board members that the district began the month of April with a fund balance of $147,251 and increased to $148,490 by the end of the month.

“We actually came out slightly ahead by about $1,200 for the month. It’s a small gain but it’s a gain and it shows an upward trend in our finances,” Dunlap said.

That’s even with payment of a $8,350 tuition bill to Waynesville for one student. Since Swedeborg doesn’t have a high school, students who graduate from eighth grade have the choice of attending any district in the area. While most students choose to attend Richland High School and some attend Crocker High School, one Swedeborg student currently chooses to attend Waynesville High School where the tuition is almost double what the other districts charge.

“That clears our tuition bill to them for this year,” Dunlap said.

Paying the rest of the tuition bills won’t be so easy.

The Richland R-IV School Board voted earlier this school year to allow deferred payment of tuition by Swedeborg; Dunlap previously said the Swedeborg district likely would be forced into insolvency if Richland hadn’t agreed to the deferment.

Board member Chris Black noted that June is usually a difficult month due to tuition.

“June’s going to hit us pretty hard when we have tuition come due,” Black said.

Dunlap agreed but said he believes the financial picture will continue to be solid, and said his June financial report will have been reviewed by the auditors and will include tuition payment details. The auditor is scheduled to make an in-person visit to Swedeborg this week, he said.

“We had some questions for her and talked to her about some of the issues concerning our year-end audit and budget and she got to work on that Friday, and when they come up Thursday they will kind of wrap it us for us,” Dunlap said. “We should be pretty solid. I’d say the picture right now actually looks a little brighter than it did this time last month. We’re seeing some things that if they hold steady, we should be in reasonably good shape for the end of the year. We should be able to take care of the majority if not all of our tuition at that point.”

For the fiscal year, Swedeborg so far shows a positive fund balance of $79,361, Dunlap said.

“With all the ups and down we’ve been through this year, actually technically we’ve had a pretty positive year as far as cash flow; we really haven’t gone into deficit at any point during the year,” Dunlap said. “Probably our lowest point was back in September or October, which was expected, but we haven’t really carried a month-to-month deficit balance at any time.”

“It’s been an interesting year for budgeting,” Dunlap said.

“It’s been a wild year anyway, period,” said board member Wayne King.

In other business:

• Dunlap said said Swedeborg was cited for one problem on the playground that has since been corrected, and passed kitchen inspection “with flying colors” for the second time straight.

• One board member asked why a swimming pool ladder is over the fence of the school playground; school secretary Susan Hand said it’s been there for several years. Dunlap said he’d investigate why it’s there and will remove it if needed.

• Swedeborg’s graduation will be at 7 p.m. on May 13; the graduation speaker has not yet been announced.

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