BOE Hears 2021 Recap, Reviews First 2022 Financial Report
Director of Business & Finance Tanja Vadas shared summaries of the school district’s 2020-21 fiscal year-end budget report, and the first budget report for the 2021-22 fiscal year at the Board of Education’s meeting on August 25, held both in person and virtually.
About $366,000 remain in encumbrances for the 2020-21 fiscal year, according to Vadas.
“The balance change from May to June accounted for an additional $13,281, bringing our year-end balance to $27,238,” Vadas said. “This unexpended amount is well under the 2% of budget and is eligible for deposit into the nonlapsing account.”
Vadas explained part of the 2021-22 fiscal year’s final report also shows final changes prior to the end of the year, like the costs for covering tuition encumbrances and costs associated with the district’s food service program.
Transportation savings in 2020-21 totaled roughly $441,000, thanks to buses running fewer days, bus routes that did not run, and more.
The budget, overall, was deeply impacted by COVID-19-related expenses, Vadas reflected. Her final COVID update stated that costs related to the pandemic were roughly $2,735,160, and offsets from savings were roughly $2,707,920. The difference resulted in the year-end balance of $27,238.
Vadas also highlighted that earlier in the fiscal year, the COVID-19-related expenses caused concern that the fiscal year’s balance would be nearly negative $400,000.
“This was a very difficult budget to balance,” said Vadas. She later attributed the successful balancing of the budget to continuous monitoring, grants, town funding, and efforts made by district leaders.
Vadas then presented the first report for the 2021-22 fiscal year, adding that there are still encumbrances and obligations to be included in the report and the projected balance “will definitely change.”
“No projections have been done yet,” said Vadas.
After Board of Education Vice Chair Dan Delia thanked Vadas for her “exceptional reports,” school board members voted unanimously to accept both financial reports.
Later in the meeting, the board approved requesting that the Board of Finance move funds from the 2020-21 fiscal year balance into the district’s nonlapsing account for education purposes, and that part of those funds be designated for special education funding purposes.
Also during the meeting, the school board approved new suggested dates for open houses at Newtown public schools, to allow more time between the start of school and when the parent and teacher meetings would take place. While Superintendent of Schools Dr Lorrie Rodrigue said the primary focus is to get all students back into the school buildings, making the open house dates later will allow more time to determine if those events can take place in person.
The school board also discussed its ten-year capital improvement plan and expects to take the topic back up at its next meeting.