When this year's audit of the Cranston School District is completed, it should show a $130,000 surplus, school officials announced today.
School Committee Chairwoman Andrea Iannazzi and Vice Chairman Frank S. Lombardi announced the surplus in a joint statement this morning and said the surplus will be used to help pay down the district's debt to the city.
"We are proud that we were fiscally conservative this year, we held the line on expenses and ended the year with a surplus. We are going to use this surplus toward the debt. It is one step toward providing a sound financial future for our students and our taxpayers.” Lombardi said.
Much of the savings came from contract negotiations with teachers, custodians and bus drivers, who agreed to concessions. The district was also spared by the mild winter, which meant less snow removal expense as well as few make-up days.
Adding to the surplus was an increase in revenue from the outsourcing of the school lunch program and a streamlined medicaid billing process — two things that were recommended by the forensic audit of school finances a couple of years ago.
The surplus will be used to pay down the city's outstanding debt to the city. The city expects the district to pay $1.57 million in next years budget for deficit reduction. As of March of this year, the district still owed the city $8.9 million.
“We anticipate that the debt will be completely paid within 3 years now that the state is contributing more revenue under the fair funding formula. We are committed to providing the best programs possible to our students in an efficient and responsible manner," Iannazzi said.