New Haven

New Haven Public Schools Face $4.6 Million Budget Deficit

From the New Haven Independent: 

The school district is facing a $4.6 million deficit in its current budget, one it is confident can tackle, but it is concerned about a bigger, scarier deficit looming next year.

That’s what the Board of Education learned from Interim Superintendent Reggie Mayo and Chief Operating Officer Will Clark during its last regular meeting of the month Monday night.

Clark said that a number of factors contribute to the hole in the district’s $182 million budget about halfway through the school year. One of the most significant is the cost of personnel.

The district has responded to the Board of Ed’s push to make sure classroom assignments are filled, particularly before any central office hiring.

Meanwhile, grant money has run out for numerous positions, forcing the district to figure out how to either cover those costs with new grant funds or for now to use general operating funds Mayo suggested that the district create a committee to devise a protocol for how it will handle costs when grants end.

“Four point six million dollars is four point six million dollars,” Mayo said. “It’s not insurmountable at this time of the year. I think we may be able to overcome most of this if not all of it.”

Mayor Toni Harp, who serves as board president, said that $4.6 million sounds like a lot of money, but in the grand scheme of the district’s budget it represents just a little over 2 percent and she believes that the district can find that much savings in six months.

“I have every confidence that Dr. Mayo and his team will be able to do that,” she said. “I don’t think there is any reason to run out of here thinking the sky is falling. My expectation is that this will be done in a way that minimizes impact in classrooms and right sizes us. I have confidence in you folks and I’m sure you won’t let any of parents students or taxpayers down…”

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