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School Committee Transfers $144,000 to Close Deficit in Athletic Budget - 'Expensive' Sports Programs to Receive Scrutiny

School Committee voted unanimously to transfer $144,000 from their Excess and Deficiency Fund (E & D) to cover a deficit in the athletic budget. There have been ongoing deficit problems in the athletic budget that some members say go back four years. School Committee member John Giger noted that in just one year the deficit in the athletic budget went from $54,000 to $144,000.

Transfer of funds is expected to resolve the deficit issue. However, Director of Business and Finance Jerry Martin said transfer of $144,000 will bring the District's E & D account to 4.3 percent of the operating budget which is below the five percent recommended by school auditors.

In a brief telephone interview, Interim Superintendent Anthony Bent said the ongoing deficit problems in the athletic budget is caused by a combination of factors and that he and Martin will be studying options to stabilize the budget in athletics. Among the options are to look at sports programs that are expensive and also look at elements of programs that may be contributing to the deficit. The athletic budget represents one-half of one percent of expenditures in the district's operating budget.

Interim Superintendent Anthony Bent reported to the School Committee on his first few months in the District and about the start of the new school year. Bent noted that all schools opened without incident and thing went very well. "It is no small marvel," he said. "Schools shut down for two months and in a short period of time everything is up and running." Bent added, "How many companies could shut down for two months and then be up and running in a few days."

Bent also said he was very pleased to be here and has enjoyed it from the beginning. "I'm thrilled to be in a high performing district," he said. "Thank you for inviting me here."

Groton Herald

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