Budget Error in Favor of SAD 53 

During this time of budget crises, officials in SAD 53 are facing an unusual situation.They just found out they actually have more money in the budget than they thought.”We thought we had large cuts to make and had been planning for those large cuts.” Board members in SAD 53 haven’t had an easy few months.First came the news that the district had to cut more than half million dollars from the budget.That had board members seriously considering closing the Burnham Village School, and possibly the SAD 53 office.But this week, they were shocked to learn that they won’t have to do either.Turns out, a spreadsheet error overestimated the cuts that needed to be made.”It was simply missing out checking one cell in a formula, a spreadsheet formula, and that one click made the difference.”Michael Gallagher is the district’s superintendent.He realized his miscalculation this week, and notified board members immediately.”We were really eyeing over a half a million dollars originally. About 556 thousand dollars.””In the end, the reduction is substantially less. Probably $250,000 less than what we thought we needed to cut.”That means the Burnham Village School will stay open. Welcome news for many parents.But Gallagher says he still feels terrible about the mistake.”The disappointing part about all of this is all the hours and time spent that people put into developing all these other plans for lack of that one good bit of data that would have caused them not to have to do all that work.””Although Gallagher regrets the error, he says he’s trying to focus on the positive. Like the fact that if they do have to make more severe cuts next year, they’ll already have a plan in place.””Personal embarrassment, but district wide, it’s a great thing for us to only have to cut that amount as to over a half a million dollars.”