EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

June 27, 2013

Schools ask for $1.4M bailout

Mayor calls for audit of education budget

(Continued)

Scully said he plans to implement changes Monday to resolve “structural matters” in the school business office. Monday is also the last day on the job for long-time Assistant Superintendent Kara Kosmes, who oversees the school budget. Kosmes recently took a new job to be Whittier Regional Technical High School’s business manager. She is being replaced by Leighton O’Connor, a former budget consultant for Haverhill schools. His appointment was approved by the School Committee earlier this month.

Fiorentini said the special education overrun is exactly the kind of crisis he envisioned in insisting the School Committee set aside money every year in a contingency account.

“This is why I have been calling for the schools to have a special education contingency fund, which I did for them on my own this year because they would not do it for themselves,” the mayor said.

Over the objection of some School Committee members, the mayor put $200,000 in a reserve school account that can only be used with the approval of City Council. The money came from a source that has traditionally been given to the schools to use as they wish.

Special education cost overruns Residential placements: $478,000 Contracted services: $298,000 Tutoring: $196,000 Aide stipends: $90,000 Day placements: $102,000 Supplies and equipment: $59,000 Translator: $31,000 TOTAL: $1,254,000 (Deficit also includes $250,000 shortfall in full-day kindergarten program) NOTE: Numbers provided by Haverhill School Department

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