"We're okay, and considering the current economic crisis, okay is pretty darned good."
That was the assessment offered Tuesday evening by North Adams Superintendent of Schools Wylie Sirk of the school district's year-end financial status.
But while the district will end 2010 with a cash carryover of some $500,000, the superintendent said the financial future for school systems statewide remains uncertain.
Sirk said North Adams is bracing in anticipation of a $1 million revenue shortfall in 2011, the second consecutive year of reduced state receipts.
And despite recent comments from Indiana Superintendent of Instruction Tony Bennett that schools will face no more cuts in the coming year, Sirk said that Bennett's comments in reality mean there will be "no more additional cuts than were already anticipated" by school administrators.
"We are trying to prepare for the worst," the superintendent told school board members. "We will continue to tighten our belt and to look at all (staffing) positions closely. We have to be very frugal.
"What really concerns me," Sirk continued, "is 2012, because the General Assembly will be putting together the biennial budget during the upcoming session. And there are a lot of things being discussed."
Also to be discussed in January, this time on the local level, will be continued talk of the possibility of a referendum to be placed before voters sometime next year.
Earlier this year the board had discussed the merits of a referendum that would generate additional tax receipts to support the school district's general fund. The matter was tabled, but Sirk said it will be rekindled at the board's first meeting of 2011.