July 13, 2020

Where Are They Now - FY19 Override Money

Posted by Aaron_Morse

At the June 4th Dighton-Rehoboth School Committee meeting, Mr Arrigo mentioned that the $2,115,992 override money for FY19 went to the schools but for FY20 it can be used anywhere. Dr. Azar confirmed it was earmarked for the schools for FY19 and further commented that for FY20 it could have gone to the COA (Rehoboth Council on Aging). The implication is that the override money is NOT going to the schools. Some other residents who spoke expressed concern over this issue.
Yes, the town can use the override money however they want, but it would be unethical to use it for anything other than its original purpose -- to fund the DRRSD assessment, and the numbers prove that they have not done this. The town budget increase was $433,313, not $2.115M. How can one justify claiming the town is taking the override money from the schools?
But I'll indulge the idea. The $17,958,710 FY19 appropriation that included the override gets carried over to FY20. Now remove the override funding.
17,958,710 - 2,115,992 = 15,842,718
How do you get from $15,842,718 to the recommended appropriation of $18,970,859?
15,842,718 + 2,115,992 + 1,012,068 = 18,970,859 (see Consolidated Budget Recommendations for FY20 on page 27 of the Rehoboth Town Warrant, as seen in the attached image)
This underscores the fact that once a funding source is used for an increasing operating budget, it is forever built in to the appropriation. Whether it is Free Cash, E&D, Stabilization, or a Prop 2 1/2 override, future budgets depend on those funds being there. The override funding carries over for future years unless and until the operating budget is reduced to pre-override levels.
My hope is that this information will help clarify some misunderstandings related to the FY20 budget and the issues we are facing.

Aaron Morse


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