Greensburg Salem in favorable financial position after full pandemic year
Greensburg Salem faced educational, technological and logistical challenges while dealing with the covid-19 pandemic during the 2020-21 academic year.
But, the school board learned this week, the district ended the year in better financial shape than expected.
The district’s revenues over the past year totaled nearly $ 48.5 million, exceeding the budgeted amount by more than $ 2.6 million, said business manager JR Dzurica. At the same time, spending of about $ 46 million was almost $ 190,000 less than budget.
“From a financial point of view, we have had a very good year,” said Dzurica.
Instead of ending the year with a projected shortfall of $ 425,000, Greensburg Salem had an additional $ 2.4 million available. It also has a fund balance of $ 6.6 million, or more than 13% of its budget.
Local tax revenues were $ 23.2 million, or some $ 860,000, or nearly 4%, above budget estimates.
“This was mainly due to property and transfer taxes,” Dzurica said.
Overdue tax collections brought in just under $ 1.5 million, or 35% more than budgeted.
Thanks to the refinancing of some bonds, the district’s debt service amounted to $ 3.25 million, almost 5% below budget.
But, at the same time, Dzurica said: “The fall in interest rates has affected our money market accounts.” Interest income totaled only $ 37,130, more than 71% below expectations.
Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds that Greensburg Salem received, to help them recover from the effects of the pandemic, are not included in the district’s operating budget. It has been approved for more than $ 11 million under the ESSER program, which is divided into three phases.
The district spent $ 405,000 less than planned on salaries and benefits. Dzurica attributed this difference to faculty members who resigned or retired and were replaced by teachers lower on the salary scale, or by long-term substitutes.
Some discrepancies between budgeted spending and actual spending were due to pandemic protocols.
Money spent on transportation and the purchase of professional services, in areas such as special education, was a total of $ 656,000 under budget due to the time students spent learning at a distance.
In contrast, procurement and ownership expenses were over budget by approximately $ 1.1 million.
In the end, Dzurica said: “Our budget reserve of $ 100,000 was not used and we transferred $ 202,012 to the capital reserve.”