October 29, 2008

School chief freezes budget

With costs rising for everything from energy to special education, school Superintendent Philip Streifer decided recently to freeze spending in a bid to hold the budget in line, officials said.
Steven DeVaux, the district's business manager, said the spending freeze covers everything that can't be avoided.
City Board of Finance Chairman Rich Miecznikowski said that Streifer told him that special education costs are rising faster than anticipated, which is one area of the budget that can't be controlled easily. The district has to pay for required education for special needs students.
Comptroller Glenn Klocko said the freeze is a wise move.
Last spring, Streifer imposed a freeze with several months to go in the fiscal year in order to close a looming $800,000 gap in the school budget. It worked.
That he's already freezing spending this year, which limits everything from hiring to equipment purchases, is an indication of the potential budgetary pitfalls ahead.
Klocko said the city is trying now to figure out if it can stay within its budget - and how to make it more likely that it won't end the fiscal year in June with a shortfall.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

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