has much more than $610K to give back
session promise by Allard just scratches the
school board chairman Keith Allard's promise at
the February 1, 2010 school deliberative session
that they expected to return up to $610,000 at the
end of the fiscal year that just ended June
30th? It seems he will make good on his
But - it also seems there are hundreds of thousands of
dollars more to be given back as well.
Worse, the final total will be a lot less than it should
The school district's fiscal '09-'10 budget (last
year's budget) just ended at midnight
Wednesday. Next year's budget ('10-'11)
began at 12:01 am on July 1st. By law, the
school district must return all unspent monies to
the taxpayers at the end of each fiscal year -
they don't do it out of the goodness of their
hearts as they'd have you believe.
As we have seen year after year, the
school board (like many other government entities)
has engaged in last-minute spending sprees just
before the end of their fiscal years. The
mindset is that since the taxpayers gave them the
money, they must spend it all or not expect the same
amount the following year.
With that in mind, consider what happened to last
year's budget ('09-'10) just before the
school board spent roughly $185,000 from on a
VoIP phone system that is in next
year's budget. Since that phone system is
budgeted for in next year's budget, that money
should have been added to the $610,000
"refund", not spent now.
night (with less than 6 hours to the midnight
school board encumbered another $138,000 "in
case" Mountain View Middle School needs a
new oil tank. As far as I know (and I
hope to confirm by mid-week), the school board
cannot legally encumber funds for this purpose
without having executed a contract for the
work to be done. They have not done
so. It is also of interest to note that
there is nothing wrong with the oil tank at
MVMS. Rather, it is the cathodic
protection system for that tank that will be
repaired for $8,725.
also announced at the school board's June 30th
"Emergency Spending Meeting" that in
addition to grants they have received, the
school district has also realized
"unexpected tuition revenue".
Unbelievably, that revenue amounted to
last one is really troubling to me. How
could the school board have made a mistake of that
magnitude when estimating tuition revenue?
After all, $950,000 covers tuition for a huge
number of students. Don't they know how many
students they are expecting from Dunbarton and New
Boston each year? Do they expect us to
believe they simply made a mistake?
I don't believe leaving this tuition revenue out
of last year's proposed budget was a mistake at
all this in mind (and more to come when the final
spending numbers are released), let's do a little
$ 610,000.00 - promised by Allard on 2/1/10
$ 185,000.00 - budgeted for
'10-'11 but spent from '09-'10 funds
$ 138,000.00 - encumbered for
an oil tank at MVMS without a contract for
$ 950,000.00 -
"surprise" tuition revenue
$1,883,000.00 - to retuned to
Add to this number the unexpected grants the schools received (I don't
have a total for those yet), and Goffstown
taxpayers should be expecting a refund of at least
$2 million or so from the '09-'10 budget, not
And don't forget, this is the same budget Allard
tried to increase by $1 million at the 2/1,
deliberative session, and when he failed to do so
(thank you, voters!), he predicted massive teacher
layoffs, increased pupil-teacher ratios and a
reduction in the quality of education, none of
which happened. But he did manage buy next
year's VoIP phone system with this year's
And when two special education
teachers left the school system earlier this year,
guess what happened - they weren't replaced with teachers, they were replaced with more administrators.
The school district's final budget expenditures
for the '09-'10 fiscal year will be available
soon. When they are released, they will be
published here. They will indicate where
YOUR money was spent at the last minute, and on
WHAT is was spent.
you can decide for yourself as to the frugality of
our school board, and how much is really needed to
educate our kids. New phone systems do
nothing towards that end.
to me the budget committee's request for a minimum
10% reduction in the school proposed operating
budget for '11-'12 is a very reasonable request,
and the final reduction should be much, much more.
Guy Caron can be
reached via e-mail at: GuyC@GoffstownResidentsAssociation.com
Columns by Guy Caron
DISCLAIMER: The opinions
expressed by Mr. Caron are not necessarily those of the
Goffstown Residents Association or its members.
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