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Federal Sequester Could Make Vernon's School Budget Situation Even More Tense

Magnets - and special ed - are drawing funds out at a fast pace, officials said.

Though there may not be a definitive answer as to what the numbers will look like if a federal sequester takes place, the school system's chief financial officer knows it can make an already tense situation even tighter.

So far the "primary drivers" are special education and magnet schools, Director of Business and Finance Michael Purcaro said.

Here is a summary of the latest school system financial report supplied by the business office:

• Current FY12 Budget Summary: $49,523,633 (102.8 percent) of the budget has been obligated. The school system is currently $744,417 over budget.

• Magnet School tuition is currently $144,638 over budget. The current FY12 budget supports $450,000 in tuition expenditures. The school system is currently at $594,638, an amount that represents 146 enrolled students.

• Special Education tuition is currently $1,882,254 over budget. The current FY12 budget supports $2,036,237 in tuition expenditures and the system is currently at $3,918,491. The amount represents 64 locally and agency placed students.

• The estimated State Special Education Excess Cost Reimbursement is $893,381, an amount based on a projected 65 percent reimbursement rate because the state excess cost fund "continues to be grossly underfunded."

• A hard spending freeze implemented.

• Any funding cuts to federal grants, such as Title I, IDEA, and Head Start, for the current fiscal year will shift the burden of cost to the local budget and further exacerbate our current financial position.

• To potentially offset some of the unexpected tuition costs, school system officials have implemented a new system to maximize Medicaid reimbursement from the state (projecting a $150,000-plus increase). In addition, there is a projection that shows an increase in Special Education tuition revenue for the current fiscal year (projecting a total of $260,000).

mom February 27, 2013 at 08:34 PM
I can't stand magnet school even more than ever!

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