The Milton School Board approved a preliminary budget for the 2021-22 school year during its meeting Monday night.

The spending plan was created using estimates and other known information, according to a memo to the board from Director of Business Services Carey Bradley.

Bradley said budget managers were told to prepare a budget using just 95% of the typical allocation so the remaining 5% can be added, if appropriate, when revenues are better known. The biggest chunk of funding for the district comes from state aid, but that total won’t be known for sure until the state passes its 2021-23 budget later this summer.

Milton’s preliminary budget includes increases in wages, utilities spending, transportation and business insurance and decreases in dental insurance and capital lease payments, Bradley said.

She said changes are expected to be made as new information becomes available before the district’s annual meeting to be held Monday, Aug. 23. After that meeting, the district will conduct a student count in September, receive certified aid and property values in October, and update budget and staffing plans as needed. After that, the board will adopt a budget and certify the district’s tax levy.

Use of federal funds

Also during Monday’s meeting, Director of Curriculum Ryan Ruggles discussed how the district allocated the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds (ESSER II) it received from the federal government.

Ruggles said the three main areas he and Director of Student Services Susan Probst focused on were improving universal curriculum and instruction, increasing teachers’ skills, and evaluating student’s impact with measurable data.

“We’re very purposeful with these funds and we have a solid process criteria,” Ruggles said. “We didn’t want to rush out and spend it all right away. As we looked into things, we really wanted to dive deep into curriculum and instruction.”

Initially, the district was given $880,000 of the ESSER II funds to use for the 2020-21 school year. Thus far, they have used $511,000, including $195,000 for universal instruction, $100,000 for professional learning communities and $216,000 for interrupted learning supports.

“Right now, we are also eligible for additional funds,” Ruggles said. “We are estimated to have $300,000 to $400,000 additional funds, but that is to be continued.”

The board expects to meet in July, but the date is to be determined.


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