Massachusetts district deficit not as bad as feared

Expanded cafeteria options helped close budget gap a little.

June 24—Efforts to expand cafeteria options in the Southern Berkshire (Mass.) Regional School District near the end of the school year helped to revive slumping sales -- but not enough to prevent a budget deficit, according to Superintendent Michael Singleton.

The cafeteria budget ended the school year with a $44,000 deficit -- far less than officials had feared earlier in the year when new government nutrition rules began to put a crimp in sales.

To correct the deficit in Southern Berkshire, Singleton said the district eliminated a part-time cafeteria employee worker. Singleton said the savings is estimated at $25,000 and he said the employee had planned on retiring. He also said there could be a reduction in labor hours.