Monday, April 12, 2021

Local News

Supervision District Returns Surplus Funds from ’20 School Year to Member Towns

The findings of the 2019–’20 (’20) audit report, return of surplus funds to the member towns, re-approval of the Supervision District budget for 2021–’22 (’22), and changes to the school calendar for the ’22 school year were highlights of the Supervision District Committee’s meeting on April 1.

2019–’20 Audit Report

Michael VanDeventer, a partner with the auditing firm Mahoney Sabol, presented findings of the ’20 audit report to the committee, saying the process and findings were much improved from prior years.

“I’m happy to report that this year we did not report any compliance findings nor any significant deficiencies or material weaknesses in your internal control,” he said at the meeting.

VanDeventer addressed the prior year’s audit in which a “material weakness in internal controls” was reported with issues related to the “bank reconciliation process [and] interfund transactions, as well as some non-recurring transactions.”

“We’re pleased to report that in connection with this year’s audit, we did not run into any of those issues and again the process was much better than in prior years and therefore, we have removed this finding from your audit report,” VanDeventer continued.

Surplus Funds

The Supervision District Committee voted to return $178,138 in surplus funds from the ’20 school year to the towns of Chester, Deep River and Essex.

The surplus funds are to be divided among the member towns based on the Average Daily Membership of the ‘20 school year. Chester will receive $47,273; Deep River will receive $61,783; and Essex will receive $69,082, according to Finance Director Robert “Bob” Grissom.

Supervision District Budget

Due to recent staffing changes, the Supervision District budget for the ’22 school year was reduced by $42,944 to $8,214,486, from $8,257,430.

The budget, first approved on Feb. 25, was approved again by members of the Supervision District Committee and the Joint Board of Education at separate meetings held on April 1.

There is no change to the allocation of funds in the Supervision District budget, as the teaching position was a “direct bill to Chester, and so Chester will be the beneficiary of this reduction,” according to Superintendent of Schools Brian White, at the meeting.

The Supervision District budget is now set to increase by a proposed 2.96 percent, or $235,776, from current year.

2021–’22 School Year Calendar

The Supervision District Committee approved changes to the ’22 school year calendar, moving spring break a week later, to start on April 18 and end on April 22. The last day of school will also move to June 8, from June 7.

The committee made the change to match the calendar of the Regional 4 School District’s educational service center, LEARN.

“We became aware, approximately a month ago that LEARN…had changed its calendar for next year, which in turn prompted a number of the districts in our region to follow suit and make changes,” said White.

There are several reasons to maintain consistency with other school districts in the southeastern part of the state, whether to schedule athletic activities or to plan professional development opportunities, according to White.

White also responded to a board member’s question regarding what snow days might look like for the ’22 school year, saying he has yet to receive definitive information from the state on the topic.

“The state Board of Ed just stopped short of making an official change that would be more permanent and so there was an exception and a flexibility granted to districts this year,” he said. “I don’t know at this time if that flexibility will be afforded next year.”


Elizabeth Reinhart covers news for Chester, Deep River, and Essex for Zip06. Email Elizabeth at e.reinhart@shorepublishing.com.

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