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Marblehead schools expected to end year in red – by $6G

MARBLEHEAD – School Business Manager David Keniston is predicting a year-end school budget shortfall – but it’s a small one so far.As of mid-March, Keniston predicted a shortfall of $5,904 on June 30, the last day of the Fiscal 2008 budget.He told the School Committee, "That’s a miniscule percentage of the budget," which totaled $25.6 million.In fact, it is two one-hundredths of 1 percent of the budget amount.Keniston warned the committee that his estimate depends on the school system continuing its non-salary budget freeze and minimal hiring.Keniston anticipated a salary surplus of $120,196, but non-salary accounts are expected to finish with a $254,600 deficit.The deficit includes $21,000 for energy and $15,000 in food service. Keniston said the schools will try to save energy "aggressively from now to the end of the year to try to close this gap."In addition to the salary account, Keniston expects to close that gap with money from the athletic and special education tuition revolving accounts, building rentals and the METCO account, among others.

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