One school funding story: Struggling U.P. districts explore ways to save money. The story details the financial situation of four sparsely populated school districts in the upper penninsula. They have operated in the red this year and their fund balances are low.
Most school finance experts say districts should try to keep at least 15 percent of their annual budgets in a fund balance account. The money can be used in case of emergency or to carry schools through the two-month period each fall when schools do not receive state aid payments.
State wide, forty-three districts had fund balances below 5 percent last year. About 150 districts had fund balances below 10 percent.