Eastmont School District will dip into reserves to combat COVID-related costs after the school board approved the budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

Executive Director of Financial Services Cindy Ulrich said costs are projected to outpace revenues by over $3 million next year, but many expenditures come from federal funds that don't negatively affect the district. Eastmont is projected to pay $97.3 million in expenses in the upcoming fiscal year.

"We're pretty conservative in projecting the minimum number of students we think we'll serve." explained Ulrich, "We also, on the other end of the spectrum, project expenditures at the maximum amount we think we'll spend."

The board also approved an updated 4-year budget projection that assumes 0% enrollment growth. Ulrich added that were this a normal, non-COVID year, staff would need to make cuts to balance the budget.

No student-related fees were added or increased for year. In fact, a classification of fee reductions based on the students' meal eligibility was also added.

Finally, a 3-6% reduction in the levy rate across the county is also expected due to the continued rise in home values.

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