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School budget projections indicate improvement

November 19, 2012

WOONSOCKET — The fiscal year is far from complete but School Superintendent Giovanna Donoyan told the School Committee last week early spending projections indicate some improvement over past school budget practices.
The news comes after the school department overspent its budget by approximately $7 million last year while not maintaining clear projections on its incurred costs and unforeseen expenses. The past deficit is expected to be worked out under the five-year city spending plan now being prepared by the state-appointed Budget Commission running city affairs.
“I know that the finances of the school department have been an absolute paramount interest to all stakeholders,” Donoyan said while giving the panel an update on this year’s $66.6 million budget during its meeting in the Hamlet Middle School Building.
“I know and I am empathetic to the position that the fiscal crisis has placed on the community,” she said. “Last year was last year, and we’re going to put that behind us,” Donoyan said.
The school department has been receiving budgeting assistance from Ralph Malafronte, a retired Barrington Superintendent of Schools. The department also has a new controller, Tricia Mallozzi, to keep its accounts in order, according to Donoyan.
With Malafronte and Mallozzi’s help, Donoyan said the department has been able to generate a first quarter expenditure report that lists accrued spending against to-date, available budget revenues.
With the budget set at $66.6 million for 2012-2013, Donoyan said the first quarter report shows that the department has spent $7.8 million of that amount as of the end of October.
“We have encumbrances of $7.9 million, with the availability of $50.9 million,” Donoyan said.

Read more in our print edition.

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