The Danbury Public School District is sending about 2-percent of their budget back into the City's reserve fund. The district saved about $2.8 million, in part because of remote learning, but also due to lower insurance costs. The schools can used that money as a contingency for technology, special education, and insurance if needed.
Superintendent Kevin Walston says fewer staff members went to medical appointments during the pandemic, which resulted in $3.4 million of the line item not being used. Transportation costs were down in the 19-20 and 20-21 school years because field trips, after school activities and sporting events didn't happen. That totaled about $630,000.
Special education costs for out-of-district placements saved Danbury about $340,000. Fewer substitute teachers were needed because of hybrid and remote instruction, coupled with a statewide substitute shortage, which led to $483,000 remaining in that line item.
But it wasn't all savings.
When Danbury moved remote, an additional $520,000 was needed for technology that the district hasn't budgeted for. Some grants were awarded to offset the costs. Due to increased cleaning of the school buildings, custodial salaries went over budget by more than $244,000.