LACONIA — The Laconia School Board Tuesday night approved $691,7675 in budget line item transfers, with 70 percent of the transfer funds coming from a $415,254 refund from its health insurance provider, Health Trust.
Business Administrator Ed Emond explained that the School District had budgeted for a refund but the refund which was received was larger than anticipated.
Most of the transferred funds went to special education, $388,350 in all, in several different categories.
There was $100,000 for contracted services for special ed, $50,000 for tuition handicap for non-public elementary, $48,551 for a special education teacher at Elm Street School, $75,000 for tuition handicap for a non-public high school, $44,000 for contracted services for special ed, $12,605 for special ed aides at Laconia High School and $12,742 for special ed aides at Woodland Heights School.
The new special ed expenses were offset by transfers of $202,043 from special education accounts, including a transfer of $126,000 from an account for tuition for a handicap student at Laconia Middle School to a non-public school, $48,227 for special ed teacher salaries and several smaller accounts.
School Board member Mike Persson said that in the immediate future the district can expect to see more students with special education needs.
The largest lump sum, $125,000 was transferred to contracted services for building repair which will see a boiler at the SAU office at the Harvard St. School replaced.
$111,994 was transferred to expendable trust funds, which Emond said were created with a $313,8000 supplemental appropriation approved by the city council last year after the School District received a larger than anticipated state adequate education grant.
The trust fund for insurance now totals $250,000 and there is $150,000 in a trust fund for buildings and $25,000 in a trust fund for special education.
The board also got a look at a new Hewlett-Packard Stream, a lightweight Windows-based PC which is similar to Chromebooks and may replace technology currently being used. Costing only $200, it supports Office 365 and has both a web cam and microphone built in.
The board also heard a presentation from Pleasant Street School Principal Dave Levesque and several students about the school's jobs program, which gives students 16 opportunities to participate in a variety of helpful activities such as library assistant and safety patrol, and its Friday Festivities program, which offers variety of learning opportunities from sign language to yoga and Spanish.
Another presentation on the Laconia Middle School's Academic Excellence program was given by teacher Joe Sampson,who said that about 25 students are involved and has resulted in improved academic and behavioral performance by those taking part.
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