Why can’t we use the town’s 'Free Cash'?
  • Andover’s Finance Committee defines free cash as the term used for the portion of a community’s fund balance that is available for appropriation by Town Meeting. It may also be used to reduce the tax rate. The balance in Andover’s Free Cash account must be certified annually by the Department of Revenue (DOR) before any funds can be appropriated.
  • The Town of Andover’s policy is to use Free Cash for non recurring or emergency expenditures, for capital and equipment purchases or for appropriation to a stabilization fund, and to maintain the combined balance of   Free Cash and the Stabilization Fund at 3%-7% of General Fund revenues. Free Cash is not to be used to balance operating budgets.
  • Andover’s Finance Committee released a statement following the November 2023 strike and negotiations acknowledging the difficult work the district is now facing, given its commitment to the long-range financial planning of the town and district to ensure Andover’s fiscal health. Free Cash

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1. What is the overall process for the school district’s operating budget?
2. What is the School Committee policy that guides the budget process?
3. What is State Aid to the Budget?
4. How much is the FY25 budget for APS?
5. What is the timeline for the FY25 operating budget process?
6. Why is there a deficit in the FY25 operating budget?
7. What can be done to alleviate the deficit?
8. How much of the annual operating budget is allocated to salaries and compensation?
9. How many positions will be eliminated? If there are positions eliminated or cut, will they all be teachers and instructional assistants?
10. How else will you try to balance the budget?
11. The district recently saw a decrease or elimination in some fees, will these fees increase again?
12. How does the budget relate to enrollment numbers at APS?
13. Over the next ten years is there a model for enrollment rate of students at APS?
14. How is the budget aligned to the class sizes at APS? Will our classes be overcrowded as a result of the budget deficit?
15. Doesn’t the town have enough money to cover the deficit? Why doesn’t the School Committee ask for more money from the town?
16. What is the town and district’s long-range financial planning model?
17. Why can’t we use the town’s 'Free Cash'?
18. Why can’t Excess Levy Capacity be used?
19. Were the Andover Education Association’s negotiating teams aware that the November 2023 Collective Bargaining Agreements might impact staffing levels at APS?
20. Has the district added additional administrative or non-student facing staff in recent years? Don’t these salaries make up a large portion of the operating budget?
21. I keep hearing about coaches for educators and executive directors for instruction at the elementary and secondary levels. What role do they play?
22. Why do I keep hearing about the DESE Comprehensive District Review? How does that inform the budget process?