HAMPTON — Superintendent Kathleen Murphy reports that the Hampton School Board is working to reduce district spending in response to the economic impact COVID-19 has had locally and statewide.
Since the district’s school facilities closed this March, the Hampton School Board has reviewed and implemented a freeze of the 2019-2020 operating budget for the district.
Approximately 80% of the district’s budget is comprised of essential expenses, such as personnel and special services. The district has worked to reduce the remaining 20% of the budget as much as possible.
“Our district is working hard to adapt to the realities of COVID-19, and we have put these measures in place to ensure our district is only spending what is needed during this time,” said Superintendent Murphy. “We will continue to provide regular updates to our community as we have information to share, and I thank you all for your continued cooperation and patience as we weather this situation together.”
All departments were notified that only essential expenditures would be approved during the State of Emergency put in place by Gov. Chris Sununu this March in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Department heads and administrators have been asked to recommend potential cost saving measures for the 2020-2021 school year.
The Superintendent’s office and business office have also reviewed all purchase orders to determine critical needs, and items determined to be nonessential were cancelled. Professional development trainings for the remainder of the school year have also been cancelled or postponed.
The district will also be returning more than $200,000 in interest earned on the bond for the Hampton Academy Project this fall to the Town of Hampton.
The Hampton School District has also renegotiated its contacts with all its transportation services and is now paying only for the salary of drivers at this time.
The district has additionally reviewed substitute teacher budget items on a case by case basis, all spring sports have been canceled and the district is not funding coaching positions for the season, and the district is also reviewing stipends for after school program positions. All major projects and repairs are currently on hold, and the district is also saving on facility costs, including electricity and heating while its buildings are closed.
Further, the district is submitting requests for relief funding through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act for costs associated with the repercussions of COVID-19 and the launch of the remote learning program. Items the district is requesting CARES Act funding for include technology support, food service expenses, cleaning products, the electronic signature program, online student registration program, bus costs associated with drivers and general supplies.
Superintendent Murphy is also working closely with Assistant Town Manager Jamie Sullivan and SAU 21 Superintendent Bill Lupini to address potential revenue concerns for the Town of Hampton and its schools.
Additional information and updated will be provided as it becomes available.