BOE returns balance funds to town
After receiving money from the town to cover overruns in the special education budget, the Board of Education voted to return the remaining balance to the town.
In March, it was estimated the cost of the special education costs for students who attended schools outside the district could run as high as $2.6 million which would far exceed the budgeted $1.1 million for the year.
Finance Director Richard Huot told BOE members in March the schools had appropriated $1.1 million for tuition for students who enrolled in private schools. However, as of March 1, the schools had spent $1.7 million and Huot estimated the total expenses would be around $2.6 million by the end of the 2010-2011 fiscal year, which ended June 30.
After requesting additional funding in the amount of $400,000, the Board of Finance and the Representative Town Meeting approved $475,000 to be allocated to the deficit. A portion of the funds, $265,000, came from a contingency fund and the remaining balance of $210,000 came from the town's general fund. However, Huot said the total expenditures for the year came to $76,737,534 and the remaining balance for the district was $96,276 which the board unanimously approved to return to the town.
Some of initial shortfalls were able to be covered by grants and delaying additional hires but due to state mandates, schools are limited in what can be done for funding special education.
Huot said the majority of the district costs were associated with personnel which cost $52,413,807; fixed costs came in at $16,036,974; operating expenditures totaled $8,062,548; and equipment costs came in at $224,205. The majority of the 2010-2011 budget was funded by the town at $71,890,765 and the remaining $4,846,769 came from grants, federal allocations and revenues not associated with taxpayer money.
The district also ran into a similar funding issue in 2009-2010 when the BOE requested $350,000 in assistance from the town. However, the district was ultimately able to return $257,000 of the money to the town.