Reserve Accounts Expected to Help Offset Schools’ Covid-19 Costs

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Three-and-a-half months into the fiscal year, most additional expenses for local education in response to the Covid-19 pandemic will be covered by two reserve accounts, according to the schools’ director of finance.

Julie Kirrane, finance director for the Bedford schools, presented that update to the School Committee at its meeting on October 13.

Kirrane said that due to the revenue loss and increased spending necessary for Covid-19 protocols, the district will need to use money from the revenue accounts that will significantly help offset the increased costs.

She cited the so-called circuit-breaker funds, a state program to assist school districts in addressing extraordinary special needs costs, and a reserve that replicates the annual state impact aid supplement to districts with military dependents. That allocation, more than $500,000, is year-to-year, so the amount also has been kept in reserve.

Kirrane also said she is beginning work on the fiscal year 2022 budget. Most of the planning is presumptive on the state budget, she said. Kirrane and Superintendent Philip Conrad noted that state leaders have pledged commitment to level-funding unrestricted school aid (Chapter 70) and other education expenditures.

Similarly, the planning is reliant on the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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