Milford schools

Milford schools cover budget shortfalls of $253,000 – InsuranceNewsNet


MILFORD — The school system took steps to balance its budget books this week.

The Board of Education approved the transfer of funds from eight accounts with surpluses to cover deficits in other areas which had a combined deficit of approximately $253,000.

“We come before you to request these transfers in order to balance the accounts,” said Milford Public Schools Head of Operations James Richetelli. “Everything has to be linked, and these are the transfers that we need to cover the amounts that are in deficit and where those amounts can come from. We took money from where there was a surplus in the account.”

More … than $43,000 was transferred from the workers’ compensation insurance account. Richetelli said they negotiated a new rate after the budget was set last year and were able to get better rates, which gave them a surplus. He added that approximately $46,000 was transferred from the unemployment compensation account.

“There was very little unemployment,” Richetelli said. “As you know, we had a labor shortage. So there were very few people who were unemployed, and therefore the surplus of that account.”

Richetelli said he resumed field trips in March, but for much of the year there were no field trips, which left the account with a surplus of around $16,100.

Almost $31,000 was deducted from the telecommunications account, which showed a surplus due to a reimbursement received by MPS. Another one $592 was taken from the non-teaching supplies account, and almost $1,880 from the student activities account – all used to help cover other shortfalls.

The last three excess accounts were related to tuition fees and totaled more than $70,700.

“We’ve budgeted all of this for the typical number of students who are either allowed into the program or typically attend,” Richetelli said. “We believe that due to the pandemic, more students have decided to stay in Milford Public School than risk going to New Haven or Bridgeport. And so the number of students was down in each of these programs. So we didn’t have to pay so much tuition for them.”

There was almost $5,100 home tutoring deficit, which Richetelli said was due to the number of students who needed private home tuition for various reasons throughout the year.

MPS had a deficit of approximately $100,000 in the retirement account.

“We’ve had 16 teacher retirements, and we normally expect 18, so we’ve had a little less there,” Richetelli said.

However, Richetelli pointed out that there were a significant number of janitors, maintenance workers, secretaries and paraeducators who retired this year.

“The main reason is that the health insurance changes in the contract,” he said. “We spoke to the board when you ratified the contracts that we were moving employees from the traditional PPO to the HDHP programs, and this year in their contracts they had to either take the new program or pay the difference between both., which is extremely expensive. So, rather than doing this, some employees were of legal age and did not want to change their health insurance, so they decided to retire.

Richetelli said they exceeded the funds they had budgeted in the legal accounts, which resulted in a deficit of almost $12,400 in the trading services account.

The largest deficit was recorded in the heating and natural gas utilities account, reaching nearly $136,000.

“The total utility deficit this year was $343,169but you transferred another amount previously, but to close the books we need an additional amount $135,622“, Richetelli said. “We are now stuck on natural gas and electricity going forward, so we believe we have budgeted correctly in the 2022-2023 budget.

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