Block Island Times

School budget reduced in new report

Careful management by the Block Island School administration has helped to reduce the projected deficit for the current school year by 41 percent, making the shortfall about $78,000 more than the school’s approved budget. But, as the School Committee members stressed to the Town Councilors who came to their Dec. 17 meeting, the items that drove the unexpected spending increases this year will have to be planned for in the 2020-2021 school budget.
As of Nov. 30, the projected net increase in spending is now $78,257, a reduction of $54,408, or 41 percent, from the September projection of $132,662. The new deficit amount is 1.49 percent more than the $5,242,793 budget approved by the School Committee and the voters at the May 2019 Financial Town Meeting.
Superintendent Michael Convery confirmed that discretionary spending is still frozen to help contain the deficit. And although the current year deficit is an immediate problem, the 2020-2021 school year budget is already in the works.
Each year, the School Committee hosts the Town Council at its December meeting for a “Pre-Budget Meeting” to highlight its spending priorities and preview, in Convery’s words, “upcoming obligations”

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