by Bill Zopf, Board President & Dr. Jean Parr, Superintendent
For this month’s column we thought we would touch on various subjects and respond to questions and comments which have been raised over the last couple of months.
• Why has the school district set up various reserve funds?
The school district received additional public and private excess cost aid for the 2005/06 school year from New York State. This aid was based on the prior year's costs paid by the district for out of district placements of our special education students. Although this state aid was for the 2005/06 school year, it was not received by the district until August and September of 2006. The law limits what can be done with this money, but one of the allowable usages is to set up reserve funds with specific purposes.
The reason for reserve funds is to have money set aside which can be used to reduce specific costs in future years and lessen the burden to the taxpayer. Once the financial books for the 2005/06 school year were closed and reviewed by the auditors, the district had a clear understanding of how much money could be set aside. At one of the recent board meetings, two reserve funds were set up. An ‘Employee Benefit Accrued Liability Reserve Fund’ for $1,000,000 was created to help offset future expenses related to non-teaching staff benefits. A Retirement Contribution Reserve Fund with $350,000 was created to help offset future expenses related to the state retirement system contributions.