Without any additional revenue coming from the county, the preliminary draft of the Dickson County school system’s 2013-14 budget is coming up about $3.4 million short. “We’re still quite a bit out of balance,” Director of Schools Dr. Danny Weeks told the school board last week. In the $62 million draft presented Thursday, the school system will reduce its annual $1 million payment toward the county’s debt by $250,000. The school system has been making the payments for more than a decade under an agreement based on the percentage of the county tax rate and sales tax collections going to schools and on student growth rate, but school officials have said the conditions of the agreement have not been met for years. For the past several budgets, the school system has dipped into its reserves to balance the budget, taking over $1.8 million dollars this year. “It seems foolish to me to give money back to them when we’re coming up short ourselves,” board member Phil Buckner said. Without more cuts or additional revenue from the county, the board could be forced to pull from its fund balance again. “We are continuing to spend from our savings account,” Weeks said. Chairman Tim Potter said 2001 was the last time the school system saw its share of the property tax rate increase and in 2009 the county commission reduced its portion by a penny, taking away growth money. Over the last several years the towns of Dickson and White Bluff also have reduced their contributions of sales tax dollars to education. Weeks said he has made several rounds of cuts to the budget, but due to new needs and the loss of some federal dollars, the budget is still $3.4 million out of balance. “I don’t know where we’re going to get 3.4 out of this,” Weeks said about more potential cuts. The board tried unsuccessfully to find a date for a budget work session that would work for everyone at Thursday’s meeting and Potter asked all the board members to check their calendars and submit a list of dates in the next 3-4 weeks to try to find a date to go over the budget.