by Terry Rogers
On Monday, January 24, Milford School District approved the final Fiscal Year 2022 Revenue and Expenditure Budget. The budget, presented by Dr. Sara Croce, Chief Financial Officer, reflected a continuation of the district’s financial priorities.
“This includes providing direct supports for our teachers and students in our classrooms,” Croce said. “As well as competitive local salary structures for our staff, ensuring tax rate stability for our community and providing technology and security updates throughout our district. Throughout the pandemic, the district has been able to minimize spending and use our federal funds received on ongoing technology replacements, the purchase of personal protective equipment and sanitation supplies to best maintain our school environments.”
Croce explained that over the next few months, the district will begin working on large scale projects using federal money to improve air quality and provide additional space for students. She also stated that the final budget reflected funding related to the September 30 unit count which showed another increase in student population.
“Any increase in students provides the district with additional state allocations in Division I salaries, Division II energy and all other costs and Division III equalization funding,” Croce said. “Other major increases on the revenue side are attributable to the ongoing support of opportunity funding providing programs and staff to support our English learners and low-income students. We’ve been strategic with our plan for these funds to support increased personnel as well as targeted academic programming during and after the school day. Though some of our local revenues have increased due to the recent housing growth throughout the district, some appropriations you will notice like the school fund interest, which is managed by the State Treasurer’s Office, remains at a rate ongoing at zero percent.”
The main cost drivers this year, according to Croce, were increased allocations from the state for specific programs on the operating side. There were increases in costs required for legal advertising, including those for the recent referendum. State allocation for students in specialized placements were allocated by the Department of Education and reflect the district’s costs for those services. Croce also explained that transportation allocations were adjusted to reflect funds received and will be amended as needed.
“I am proud to present, once again, a balanced budget for this year, representing our district’s fiscal priorities and continuing to set aside funds for the future of our district,” Croce said.
The board approved the $64.1 million budget unanimously.
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