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Norwalk BoE ends 2016-17 with money left over

Norwalk Public Schools Budget Coordinator Kristen Karzcmit, left, explains the 2016-17 budget reconciliation to Board of Education members Mike Barbis, Erik Anderson and Bryan Meek, Thursday in City Hall.

NORWALK, Conn. – Fiscal year-ending addition and subtraction show that Norwalk Public Schools has a surplus from 2016-17, Norwalk Public Schools Budget Coordinator Kristen Karzcmit said Thursday.

Since state statutes allow a Board of Education to carryover an amount equal to 1 percent of its budget, the BoE is going to request that the city allow it to keep $435,000, against the wishes of city Finance Director Bob Barron, she said. It’s expected that NPS will return the remaining $225,000.

NPS has an unresolved issue from 2016-17: the state wants $100,000 back from the funding it issued to the Center of Global Studies, she said.

While Norwalk’s state legislators in June reversed the state’s plan to take back $450,000 because it had reviewed CGS’ operations and determined that it was not a full-time magnet school, Karzcmit explained to the BoE Finance Committee that the state wants $100,000 from a different pot.

The $450,000 was from a $1.3 million magnet school grant; the state wants a refund of half of a two-year $200,000 Alliance District grant that State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25) got, she said.

NPS is negotiating, she said.

“We send Hartford a dollar. They send us six cents, then they tell us how to spend that six cents and then they come and look to see how we spent the six cents,” BoE Finance Committee Chairman Bryan Meek said.

Having money to roll over is a good problem to have, but Barron wants to put the $435,000 back into the fund balance, Karczmit said.

It will be discussed Tuesday, Meek said, and BoE member Erik Anderson said he hoped Mayor Harry Rilling will be present.

BoE Vice Chairman Mike Barbis said, “I am sure the mayor might want to let us have it.”

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