During a quickly called and quickly conducted meeting on the eve of the first day of school, representatives for Rochester Memorial School, the Old Rochester Regional School District, and the town of Rochester approved several maneuvers meant to free up funds in various areas of the budget.
The Rochester School Committee transferred $5,787.91 from the Special Education Account to the Circuit Breaker fund, which could help cover any shortfalls the district might absorb. Expenditures of over $40,000 per special education student are eligible for partial reimbursement from the state.
“We just think those funds should be used in the year they become available,” Rochester Town Administrator Richard LaCamera said. “We should use those reimbursements to offset those costs rather than leave them on the table.”
“Having those additional monies available to us is reasonable in the case of uncertain costs coming forward,” Superintendent Doug White said. “We don’t have other places in our budget to address that.”
Other transactions included $14,419 shifted to fund full-day kindergarten salaries and special education costs following the recent decision to depart from a tuition-based model.
By Shawn Badgley