Please support local news coverage –

Donate Here

Portsmouth school board OKs COVID-19 special revenue fund

Allows district to redirect part of surplus to coronavirus-related unanticipated costs

Posted

PORTSMOUTH — The School Committee voted unanimouslyTuesday night to set up a COVID-19 special revenue fund, making a one-time exception to their spending policy regarding surpluses. 

That decision, Superintendent Tom Kenworthy said, will allow the district to redirect any surplus exceeding 1.5 percent of the prior year’s operating budget from going toward capital projects, putting it instead into this special revenue fund. 

“This is a step that most school districts and municipalities are trying to take right now with a lot of the uncertainty around COVID-19 and the economy,” he said. 

After reading that school districts could be seeing a 5 percent increase in expenses next year, Chairwoman Emily Copeland said setting up the fund was “a really smart idea.” The board could put that surplus toward anything from professional development for remote learning, technical support or additional special education costs, Ms. Copeland said.

“I think this is a really prudent move,” she said. 

The rest of the committee agreed, voting 7-0 to make the one-time exception and set up the fund. 

Later in the meeting, finance director Chris DiIuro said the district was still on track to end the academic year with a one-time surplus of roughly $800,000 — some of which he said will go toward “Chromebooks and various other things.”

Please support your local news coverage

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the local economy - and many of the advertisers who support our work - to a near standstill. During this unprecedented challenge, we continue to make our coronavirus coverage free to everyone at eastbayri.com - we believe it is our mission is to deliver vital information to our communities. If you believe local news is essential, especially during this crisis, please consider a tax-deductible donation. 

Donate Here

Thank you for your support!

Matt Hayes, Portsmouth Times Publisher

2020 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Scott Pickering

Scott Pickering has been on the East Bay Newspapers team for more than two decades, since starting as a reporter for the Sakonnet Times. He's been editor of most of the papers, was Managing Editor of all the papers for many years, and became General Manager in 2012. Today he can be found posting to EastBayRI.com, steering news coverage, writing editorials, talking to readers, working with the sales team, collaborating on design, or helping do whatever it takes to get the papers out the door. Reach him at spickering@eastbaynewspapers.com.