Budget Committee Discusses First Close Report for 2017/2018 School Budget

As the 2017/2018 school year draws closer, the Budget Committee met with Business Administrator Peter Curro on July 27 to discuss the current state of the first close report for the beginning of the year.

Curro was present to provide an overview of the specifics of the budget alongside the school district’s new superintendent, Scott Laliberte.

For starters, two major items that went over budget included funds for catastrophic aid at $62,420 over budget and funds for the tuition local leep at $38,000 over budget. However, three major items that were severely under budget were the other income category at $73,770 under budget, community activities at $20,500 under budget, and tuition for other School Administrative Units at $19,800 under budget.

Things still appeared positive, though, as Curro noted that the district currently has a $122,500 surplus due to expenses coming under budget by $180,000, although other things came under expectations, including revenue by $32,500. Curro is anticipating that by the end of the year, there should be an even larger surplus of $224,500 due to overestimations for special education funds and employee tax reserves.

In response to this, $125,000 will be placed into the equipment capital reserve, while an extra $50,000 will go into the special education trust fund, as those two must legally be funded first before anything else. The remaining $49,500 will go into an undesignated fund balance account for future use.

However, there were still some concerns over other areas. The retirement funds budget, in particular, ran over budget by more than $350,000 dollars, mainly due to 19 retirements occurring in the last fiscal year. Committee Chairman Tim Siekmann asked if there was any way they could anticipate things like this happening, but the best he could guess would be around Christmas, as they typically have no way of knowing if someone will retire until the announcement is made.

There was also the unknown factor of general projections for the upcoming fiscal year. Essentially, one of the best things that can be done is to focus closely on class size throughout the six schools and try to anticipate what costs will be through the amount of children. Londonderry’s recent growth in population can also be seen as something to keep track of for these projections.

In other news, Curro’s report noted that the food service program should break even, give or take $10,000. It also noted that a new school policy needs to be adapted in order to combat an open balance for unpaid lunch of around $15,000.

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