By Megan Kelley
Assistant Superintendent of Business and Finance, John Fitzgerald updated the board on the status of the district’s finances.
Earlier in the summer, Fitzgerald informed the board that the district was anticipating a $600 cut in per-pupil funding. It is now anticipated that the per-pupil funding cut will only be $175 per pupil. This change brings the district’s expected operating deficit of between $3.5 million and $4 million to only about $1 million.
Now, Fitzgerald said, the cuts will not be nearly as harsh.
“The May (revenue) conference projected a decline in revenue in the school aid fund in the $1.2 billion neighborhood, as compared to the January (revenue) conference,” he said. “The August one here, in the same projection, doing the same analysis is now projecting a decline in the School Aid Fund of just 200 million. Not $1.2 billion, just $200 million, a $1 billion improvement in four months.”
According to Fitzgerald, the improvement is due to income tax withholding and sales tax increasing during this time of economic decline and because the federal government had put in place so many income supports.
Additionally, there is a $1.38 billion surplus in the School Aid Fund from the 2020 fiscal year. Based on the early numbers, the School Aid Fund is expected to have a $372 million surplus at the end of this year, Fitzgerald said.