The Collier county school district is digging deep to overcome a major budget shortfall for the upcoming school year.
The shortfall was reduced from $51 million to $25 million through grants..
Now to cover the rest, they're digging into reserve funds tucked away for emergency deficits.
Tuesday the board approved the tentative budget which tops $920 million.
Now that they've decided to use those reserve funds, the school board expects a balanced budget at the beginning of the year.
Having to tap into these funds was anticipated.
Board members say they knew last spring that they wouldn't have stimulus money from the federal government.
In fact, they're already planning on dipping into reserve funds next year too.
They say while it's not realistic long term, right now it's the best option for not having to make deep cuts district-wide.
"It will help us keep the student services at our current level. We won't have to do staff layoffs and I think it will provide a great financial basis for the coming year," said board member Pat Carroll
Carroll said her biggest concern with tapping into those funds now is what will happen the year after next if the economy doesn't turn around and allow them to replenish that reserve.