Harrisburg School District explains millions in 'mystery money' - abc27 WHTM

Dauphin County

Harrisburg School District explains millions in 'mystery money'

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The Harrisburg School District attempted to explain its so-called $11.5 million in 'mystery money' Monday night.

At a Budget and Finance Committee meeting, district CFO Peggy Morningstar told union members the extra cash is the result of lower-than-projected expenditures from the 2012-2013 budget. Chief Recovery Officer Gene Veno said specifically, healthcare, unemployment and salary costs are all down -- and the money is a positive sign the district is operating frugally.

Veno did note, however, that the mismanagement of the budget is a concern. He blames the district business office, but said any action against specific personnel will be decided by the school board.

School support staff and teachers said they're furious this could have all been avoided. Charles Willis, a school safety monitor, spoke before the board, saying his take-home pay was reduced from approximately $560 to $370.

"The folks who were in place when all of these calculations were made should be replaced because they're part of the problem and not the solution," Willis said.

Veno said he will take the next ten days to re-calibrate the recovery plan based on the new numbers. He emphasized that no tax increase is anticipated for Harrisburg residents in 2014.

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