June 13, 2013

Portland schools hurry to spend $1.2 million surplus

Teachers and staff order supplies for next year in an annual ritual to use the money by the end of June.

By Noel K. Gallagher ngallagher@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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She also said the extra money just proves the union was right to refuse in January when the district asked teachers to take furlough days this year to help offset $870,000 in unexpected cuts that Gov. Paul LePage announced in December. The across-the-board curtailment cuts are intended to address a $35.5 million state budget shortfall, including $12.6 million in cuts for Maine schools.    Wilson said the curtailment was a good example of an unplanned expense, and the reason the budget should include some extra money as a cushion. There is no set goal for how big the surplus should be, he said.   

Last year’s surplus of $1.6 million represented 1.8 percent of the total $89.5 million budget; this year’s surplus is about 1.3 percent of the $94.2 million budget.   

“I think having over a million or so surplus is helpful,” Wilson said. “You should have some cushion in there.”   

Noel K. Gallagher can be contacted at 791-6387 or at: ngallagher@mainetoday.com  .

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