After this spring to cover special education overruns, Darien Public Schools are now set to return over $96,000 to the town.
The decision came at Tuesday's Board of Education meeting, during which director of finance Richard Huot shared the district's year-end budget numbers.
According to Huot, the district spent $76,737,534 to educate some 4,800 students between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2011. Personnel costs amounted to $52,413,807; fixed costs, $16,036,974; operating costs, $8,062,548; and equipment costs, $224,205.
Of that total, $71,890,765 was funded directly by the town, while $4,846,769 came from a combination of federal money, grants, and revenues separate from taxpayer money.
In all, the district ended last fiscal year with a balance of $96,276, Huot said.
The district was originally allotted a slightly smaller budget ($71,512,041), but the board of ed in the spring when it became clear that special education costs would exceed projections by about $1.6 million.
Administrators were able to close much of the shortfall by delaying planned hires and applying unanticipated grants, but the district still expected to end over $400,000 in the red. State mandates for special education services give school systems limited flexibility with such expenses.
The Board of Finance and Representative Town Meeting ultimately — $265,000 from a contingency fund and $210,000 from the town's general fund — to cover the overrun.
On Tuesday, chairman Kim Westcott recommended returning the balance of $96,276 to the town, a measure which board members approved unanimously.
“We are glad 2010-2011 is behind us,” Westcott said.
After the town approved a similar stopgap of about $350,000 in 2010, the Board of Education .