Last year the Board of Education was staring at a $4 million deficit. This year, turns out the board has an extra dollars to spend.
Tuesday night the Board transferred a $1.6 million surplus from the 2012-2013 budget over to the upcoming school year budget. Board chairman Mike Lyons said the surplus had been in the works for weeks.
"You can finalize your numbers until well after the fiscal year," he said. "There are still bills that come in that have to be paid under last year's budget."
$500,000 of that money is being used to bring last year's remaining deficit to $100,000.
"We'll have paid off all but $100,000 within the next month or so," Lyons said. "That's about two years ahead of the anticipated schedule."
About $250,000 of that surplus will be used to hire three reserve teachers, and about $120,000 will go to hiring four classrooms aids.
Lyons said the extra teachers and aids will allow the city to "address the large class size problems" in elementary schools.
Another $200,000 will go to repairing two portable classrooms at Jefferson Elementary School. Board chair Mike Lyons called it a health concern that would have been necessary without a surplus.
"But because we have the surplus, we can do the project without having to cut something else out of our budget to pay for it," he said.
A full list of where the extra money is going:
- 3 reserve teachers for class size $247,262
- 4 classroom size aides $122,768
- Textbooks for additional classrooms $60,000
- Repair of Jefferson Elementary School portable classrooms $200,000.
- Common Core curriculum implementation $465,000
The Board of Estimate and Taxation will review and likely approve the transfers in the coming weeks.