A special appropriation \u2014 a bailout from the Board of Finance, essentially \u2014 might not be needed for the schools to close out this year\u2019s budget in the black, acting Superintendent Dr. Robert Miller told the Board of Education March 27. The district\u2019s interim business manager, Allan Cameron, said he believes that if the appropriation is necessary, it would likely come in under $250,000, Miller said. \u201cThe indication is that we\u2019re heading in the right direction,\u201d Miller added. The district is currently looking at an impending deficit of $599,816, down from last month\u2019s estimate of just under $1 million. With the budget freeze in place, Miller said, that number should be reduced. Some savings were found in the district\u2019s medical and other benefits accounts, which came in about $24,000 and $27,000 under budget, respectively, according to Cameron\u2019s February financial report. Freeze Miller said that the freeze has added a \u201cfilter\u201d for spending requests at the school administration level, before the superintendent\u2019s office even sees the requests. \u201cThere are a lot of things that principals have said no to long before we have,\u201d Miller explained. According to the financial report, the freeze remains in place, and further belt-tightening may be needed to finish the school year without a deficit. Board Chairwoman Fran Walton said the board would like to see the list of discretionary spending that was denied by principals. \u201cWe\u2019re in our third year now of a freeze,\u201d she said. The board would want to know if, for example, the freeze meant that all of the schools\u2019 supply closets were empty by the end of the year, said board member Sharon D\u2019Orso. Board of Finance Chairman Dave Ulmer indicated on Feb. 20 that any special appropriation for the schools should go to a town meeting and vote. \u00a0 \u201cI don\u2019t think that we need to ask for $600,000,\u201d Miller said in response to a comment by Vice Chairman Doug Silver, who said it would be irresponsible to ask for anything less. Miller repeated that the interim business manager said the request would likely be under $250,000 or that the schools could possibly finish at even. Walton appeared surprised by the business manager\u2019s optimism. \u201cI\u2019d like to know where his crock of gold is then,\u201d she said.