[quote]Portland Press Herald
[b]Told to cut $500,000, schools spent it [/b]
By KELLEY BOUCHARD, Staff Writer
Friday, May 4, 2007
Portland school officials spent $500,000 that they were supposed to cut from this year's budget, city councilors learned Thursday evening.
The action means school officials defied a City Council order last spring to reduce the $82 million school budget by $500,000.
News of the overspending came as the council's finance committee resumed its largely unwelcome scrutiny of a proposed $86.4 million school budget for the coming year.
. . . [/quote]
This is better than I would have done on the story. The article should have been about the current budget, but because of the lack of forth coming by the super on budgeting it came to a head last night.
This is a press release from the school department apparently responding to the PPH article. That is chutzpah to worry about your appearance in the press over actually providing the facts and figures when asked.
[quote][b]Portland Schools Set to Meet Budget Limit[/b]
The Portland Public Schools has made numerous reductions to the current year's school budget to accommodate the City Council's $500,000 funding cut last spring, Superintendent Mary Jo O'Connor said Friday.
The school department anticipates ending the fiscal year with a balanced budget despite an urgent need to hire a dozen additional special education teachers and other, unexpected costs, O'Connor said. The Portland School Committee approved the special education positions last fall.
"The School Committee has worked hard to earn the public's trust by being fiscally responsible despite the extraordinary pressures facing our district," said Chairman John Coyne. "We are doing everything possible to adhere to the spending limits set by the City Council."
The City Council approved an $81.9 million budget for the 2006-7 school year, or $500,000 less than the School Committee had requested. The school department recouped savings when long-term employees retired and were replaced by lower-paid new employees. But it was insufficient to cover the additional costs for special education services.
The school department therefore instituted a budget freeze on February 6, 2007. The freeze prohibits new equipment purchases and permits only required staff travel. O'Connor has reviewed every purchase order and decided whether to approve it. School administrators have scrutinized the need for all vacated positions before filling them.
Richard Paulson, the school department's director of finance and operations, said that every effort is being made to ensure that the current year's school spending falls within the limits set by the City Council. The fiscal year ends on June 30.
This entry was posted on Friday, May 4th, 2007 at 11:07 am [/quote]