Assistant Superintendent Charles Obremski, who helps to manage the School Department budget, explained the financial predicament facing the schools to the School Committee and gathered crowd at Everett High School library on Monday night.
According to Obremski, the deficit is a result of a combination of factors that saw the School Department spend some $6.2 million more than they were expecting this year, while at the same time having some of their funding cut.
Among the largest new expenses facing the school was: an assessment of $1.36 million in student tuitions for 107 Everett students who attended the Pioneer Charter School; a cost of more than $967,000 to make 13 classrooms, an office and restrooms in the old Everett High School on Broadway, into usable classroom space for the Webster School Extension; $392,000 for new teachers and staff at the new Webster School Extension; $323,000 in unexpected school costs related to the city’s project to upgrade and enhance the Keverian School playground; nearly $1.6 million in out-of-district tuition costs for 25 new Special Education students who cannot be served in the Everett school; and costs of educating 135 more students than the schools received from the state based on enrollment figures from October 2016.
In addition to the more than $6.23 million in new costs, Obremski and Superintendent Frederick Foresteire explained that the school department also saw reductions in previously awarded grants and state aid for education totaling more than $1.36 million in lost revenue for the schools, while the city of Everett has yet to deliver to the schools the $1.5 million in Medicaid payments the schools have traditionally received from the city since 2004.
Combined, the $2.86 million in lost or delayed revenues, and the $6.23 million in additional costs has created a $9.1 million hole in the current budget.