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 Dan Schultz presiding, Financial Affairs convened via video conferencing on Tuesday, April 6, 2021. The meeting started with Mr. Chuck Linderman’s reviewing the status of the 2020-2021 budget, and data about CSD’s student-to-staff ratios and how they compare to similar schools in the Philadelphia area data using the Forecast5 data analytic tool. There was also a review of data analytics regarding demographics and special education costs. The final area Linderman reviewed was the proposed 2021-2022 budget. The current budget has a $4M gap between revenues and expenditures. The board asked for areas to reduce, Mr. Linderman and Dr. Wagner Marseille discussed the possible reduction through attrition of staff. The deadline for staff to file for retirement is April 15, by which time the business office will have a better handle on what can be reduced through attrition.
The committee also discussed the possibility of restructuring the debt to attain some savings and came to a consensus that Mr. Linderman would set up a meeting with the finance committee chairs and the district’s financial advisors to review the possible restructuring. The board had questions relating to the use of ESSER funds, structural deficit, student-teacher ratios slides, and the one-time expenses in the budget such as the charter school costs.
The next Financial Affairs Committee meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 and will be available via cheltenham.org/zoom.