BOE grapples with how to fund 2+ million deficit

May 8, 2019

STAMFORD — The Board of Education discussed this year’s projected $2.17 million deficit at Tuesday’s board meeting, but didn’t make any decisions about how to close the gap.

Superintendent Tamu Lucero said her administration has not finished a plan to reduce the deficit, which she called a “moving target,” by the state-mandated deadline of June 30 when all education board’s must end the year without a deficit.

Freezing overtime and returning to the Board of Finance for appropriations for school energy funds are some of the ways school administration is working to curtail the deficit, Lucero said, adding that even with the cuts the district still needs to find 1.2 million to close the gap.

Board President Andy George suggested deferring parts of the deficit to next year, which he said was normally not a good strategy but may be worth it given the difficulty of paying off such a large deficit by June 30.

Checks and balances must be instated to ensure the district never again has a deficit this large, board member Jackie Pioli said. Lucero agreed and said she will implement measures this summer to prevent future deficits.

The board will discuss reducing the deficit at the fiscal committee meeting in two weeks.

svaughan@hearstmediact.com; 203-842-2638; @SophieCVaughan1