Block Island Times

School deficit reduced this year; cuts proposed for next year

This year’s deficit and next year’s budget bookended the New Shoreham School Committee’s meeting on January 13. The committee was pleased to hear that the projected deficit for the 2019-2020 school year has been reduced to about $50,000, less than half of the initial amount. But the causes of the deficit are among the factors driving the budget discussions for 2020-2021.
“We are projecting ending Fiscal Year 2020 with a deficit of $50,044,” Block Island School Superintendent Michael Convery told the committee. As of Dec. 31, the projected net increase in spending for the current year is $50,044, a reduction of $27,813, or 35 percent, from the last financial report for November 30. Since the first deficit projection in September, the school administration has closed the spending gap by $82,618, or 62 percent, largely by freezing discretionary spending.
“While we have improved our overall deficit,” Convery continued, “we are projecting a larger deficit in salaries” than previously reported. “This is due to the addition of the full-time Teaching Assistant for the balance of the school year.” Interviews were held the day of the meeting. The salary line deficit is now projected at

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