Curro: School Operating Budget is in Good Shape

The general fund operating budget “is in good shape,” School District Business Administrator Peter Curro told the School Board at their Jan. 20 meeting.

Expenditures are anticipated to come in around $1.7 million under budget, while revenues are expected to run about $34,724 over what they were projected, which Curro attributed primarily to the District’s receiving almost double the amount of Catastrophic Aid originally anticipated.

“All other accounts are pretty much in line,” he said. “At this point, we are projecting a conservative year-end general fund balance of $1.7 million,” Curro said.

Winter weather, unforeseen emergencies and out-of-district placements could significantly impact that financial projection.

The only account that is trending over-budget is the Information Technology (IT) account, which Curro said he planned for after they agreed to accelerate the introduction of some technologies into classrooms.

The primary accounts to cover the cost overruns are Salary Accounts, $351,600; Retirement, $80,854; Health Insurance, $1.7 million; and Dental Insurance, $102,115.

“We’ve got a long way to go; but as one board member, I would like to say, looking ahead, I would like to see those excess funds go to fund balance. If we need that money for health insurance issues, it would be nice to be able to call upon them,” member Steve Young said.

Curro recommended the Board consider establishing a health trust stabilization fund to help eliminate the spikes in cost he anticipates they will start seeing.

“We may at the local level need to provide some sort of stabilization for that,” he said. “You would need initial money to go into the fund, then you would take the three-year average of rates and put 5 percent into the fund when it goes higher and if lower, money comes from the operating budget to the stabilization fund. It would operate like the Capital Reserve Fund; you are the agents.”

In other business:

Superintendent Nate Greenberg reported December enrollment for Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12 at 4,424 students, a decrease of four students from November, when the District had gained eight students.

The reduction is primarily due to students moving out of town. Enrollment in the same month last year was at 4,573 students.

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