Goffstown schools will return $960,681 back to the town
The surplus is a result of both lower expenditures and the receipt of additional revenue, said SAU 19 Business Manager Ray Labore.
“This year's return is pretty much a fifty-fifty split between expenditures and over-collection of revenue,” Labore said.
Nearly $500,000 of the surplus came from anticipated retirement costs for employees that never materialized.
“The state had indicated that we would recognize a much larger share of payments into the state retirement system,” Labore said. “But they did go ahead and finance more than they said they would.”
Additional savings came from special education costs, which totaled $339,780.
Labore said the district has created programs in-house to serve students who would otherwise have to travel out of district, resulting in savings in both tuition and transportation.
In addition, Labore said staff turnover was a factor in the budget savings.
“It has been the district's practice to bring bright, young, qualified teachers in,” Labore said, but noted that they are at the lower end of the pay scale, and may only choose a single-person insurance plan, as opposed to a more expensive family plan.
On the revenue side, the district received higher than anticipated tuition for special education programs, pre-school programs and students requiring individual support.
An increase in Medicaid reimbursement, as well as additional federal funding, also contributed to the surplus.
Labore said the budget created by the school board was about as tight as it could be.
“The school board budgeted as precisely as it possibly could last year,” he said, “and looking at the numbers, they did a very, very good job.”
Board member Keith Allard, who said he was not speaking on behalf of the board, was happy with the amount of funding returned.
“I'm certainly pleased that there was money to return to the taxpayers,” he said.
Allard said he didn't anticipate the amount exceeding $500,000, but was pleasantly surprised that it did.
He added that the increase in the state's contribution toward retirement costs made a substantial difference in the bottom line.
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