The Department of Financial Affairs for the Cheltenham School District is responsible for the administration, management and compliance of District financial services. These responsibilities include the preparation, presentation, monitoring and reporting of the annual District budget; preparation of annual financial statements; payroll administration; benefit administration; accounts receivable and payable; purchasing and receiving; management of debt service and investments and monitoring of capital assets; and financial oversight of federal and state programs. The Department also provides oversight of the Food Services and Transportation Department.
With co-chair Joel Fishbein presiding, Financial Affairs convened via video conferencing on May 4. The agenda included the following items: Updates on the 2020-2021 budget and charter school costs, review of staffing data analytics and the 2021-22 budget, and a discussion of items for the May legislative board meeting. Mr. Linderman began the meeting with a review of the status of the 2020-2021 budget, then discussed the projected data for revenues and expenditures for the 2020-2021 school year and the reasoning for some of the variations. The final area Mr. Linderman reviewed was the proposed 2021-2022 budget. The current budget has a $500,000 shortfall between revenues and expenditures. Mr. Linderman reviewed the expenditure adjustments made since March, which include the use of ESSER funds for payment of the activity busses for the 2021-22 school year and the 2022-2023 school year since there will be an effort to provide students who may have experienced learning loss the opportunity for tutoring after school. Reductions in the facilities area due to attrition, health care savings, life insurance savings, reduction of the Eastern Center for Arts and Technology budget due to reduced enrollment, and staffing reductions through attrition in the teaching area and the outsourcing of the CLASP program. There was an extended discussion on the possibility of restructuring district debt as a way to offset the increase in charter school expenses. This item will be placed on the agenda for further discussion and vote at the May 11 legislative board meeting. The board had questions relating to status of the district’s fund balance, use of ESSER funds, special education budget, possibly bringing in the planning department from Montgomery County to do an enrollment study, and the one-time expenses in the budget such as the charter school costs. The next Financial Affairs meeting is Tuesday, June 1, 2021.