Milford school board OKs $200K transfer to cover deficits

Milford Public Schools

Milford Public Schools

Contributed photo / Contributed Photo

MILFORD — The school board approved a transfer of $205,000 to cover a deficit in the homebound tutors, substitute teachers, cafeteria aids and regular transportation accounts.

Milford Board of Education approved the budget transfer from the Blue Cross/Blue Shield account at its recent meeting.

“This is a very tight budget year,” said James Richetelli, chief operations officer. “There’s not a lot of money to move around, but there are certain areas where we know we can plug gaps and deficits.”

Board of Education member Cindy Wolfe Boynton asked if the budget transfers would cover the deficit of the line items.

“At the July meeting is when we have to complete everything,” said Richetelli. “It is coming down to the wire, particularly in the utility account. You may see additional money there because we are still waiting for bills to come in so that we know how much money we have to pay up until the last day. There may be additional dollars that may have to be transferred into these accounts.”

Richetelli said the Blue Cross/Blue Shield account is the retiree's health insurance.

“The reason for that is, some of the members of the board will recall, we changed plans for our retirees about 18 months ago, and as a result of that, we generated savings and are continuing to generate savings this budget year,” he said.

The homebound tutoring account has a deficit due to more students requiring homebound tutoring for various reasons.

In all, $83,000 was transferred to the account, and $73,000 was transferred to the substitute teacher account.

“To keep the school going and classes covered, we needed to increase the hourly rate for our substitute teachers this year,” said Richetelli.

The cafeteria aids account received $25,000 to cover its deficit.

“The deficit was pandemic related,” said Richetelli. “Elementary schools have to eat in their classrooms, which requires a lot more cafeteria aids than we would normally have if they were eating their food in the cafeteria. That has resulted in the deficit.”

In the transportation account, Richetelli said there is a small deficit because they needed to add a bus run for part of the year because one of the buses was overcrowded.

“At the beginning of the school year, we were still about social distancing, and we had to add just one bus run, which accounts for the $24,000,” he said.