Milford schools

Milford schools cover budget shortfalls of $253,000


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 shortfalls in other areas that had a combined deficit of approximately $253,000.

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

Over $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 about $46,000 had been transferred from the unemployment compensation account.

“There was very little unemployment,” Richetelli said. “As you know, we had a labor shortage. There were therefore very few unemployed people, and therefore the surplus of this 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 about $16,100. .

Nearly $31,000 was drawn from the telecommunications account, which had a surplus due to a refund received from MPS. Another $592 was taken from the non-teaching supplies account and nearly $1,880 from the student activities account — all used to help cover other shortfalls.

The last three accounts that had a surplus were related to tuition fees and totaled over $70,700.

“We budgeted all of this for the typical number of students who are either cleared into the program or generally admitted to the program,” Richetelli said. “We believe that due to the pandemic, more students have decided to stay at 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 a shortfall of nearly $5,100 in home tutoring, which Richetelli said was due to the number of students who needed tutoring at home 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 that, some employees were of legal age and didn’t want to change health insurance, so they decided to retire.

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

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

“The total deficit for utilities this year was $343,169, but you transferred another amount previously, but to close the books we need another $135,622,” Richetelli said. “We are now locked into natural gas and electricity moving forward, so we believe we have budgeted correctly in the 2022-23 budget.”

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