Just a few weeks removed from one of the more contentious budget emergencies in recent memory, the School Committee voted Monday night to start the clock on their budget preparation for the coming school year and fiscal year 2019, by referring the FY 2019 budget to the Subcommittee on Finance.
Following the meeting, Assistant Superintendent for Administration Charles Obremski said following the meeting that the motion to send the budget to the finance subcommittee is just the beginning of the process for the School Committee and school administration.
“We really don’t even have a budget draft for 2019 yet,” said Obremski. “That motion just starts the process, but I have started to look at what I think the chargebacks are going to be and we have an idea what Net School Spending will be, so we have to talk to the City Auditor (Eric Demas) and the Mayor (Carlo DeMaria) and confirm those things and go from there.”
According to Obremski, the Net School Spending figure for Everett in 2019, according to the state will be $95,255,826. Net School Spending (NSS) is the total amount of money the state requires the City to pay toward supporting education from the City Budget. However, state law allows that the NSS calculation can include costs the City incurs on behalf of the School Department (known as chargebacks), which can result in the actual amount of money that goes to the schools being lower than that NSS figure.
Noting the recent debate and controversy surrounding the School Department and City Auditor both projecting a budget discrepancy, which resulted in Mayor DeMaria and the City Council voting to forward $5 million to the School Department last month for the current budget year, Obremski said the Superintendent and School Committee want to avoid a repeat in next year’s school year.
“You know, obviously we (School Department) want to meet with the Auditor and Mayor DeMaria and make sure that we communicate better, so we don’t have a repeat of the situation we had a few weeks ago,” said Obremski.