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Board OKs budget changes

Andalusia’s Board of Education amended its 2009-10 school year budget Thursday, in response to 7.5 percent proration in state allocations.

The total amount cut from the budget is $630,605. Most of that amount was a $578,226 cut to the Foundation program, which is primarily used for staff salaries.

Other major cuts include transportation operations (cut of $26,489), the school nurses program ($8,834), Alabama Reading Initiative ($4,994) and at-risk students ($3,821).

However, there is good news for the Andalusia City Schools. The system is receiving approximately $410,000 in “fiscal stabilization funds” from the federal stimulus package. Also, the ACS will be allowed to “flex” $37,178 in transportation “fleet renewal” funds; this allows the system to use that money for other purposes. Fleet renewal funds are typically earmarked and can only be used to purchase or maintain school buses.

System reserves will help fill any remaining budget gaps.

“This is something we do every year where we have to adjust the budget based on funding,” Andalusia Superintendent Dr. Beverly McAnulty said. “Our bus fleet is fine for right now, so we can use some of that money for operating expenses. Also, we stand to benefit if the state changes the ‘transportation formula’ this year; we should get more transportation funding if that happens.”

The board unanimously approved the budget amendments.

In other business, the board:

Accepted the resignation of Jackie Walker, cafeteria manager at Andalusia Elementary School, effective immediately.

Approved a field trip for the Andalusia High School “Peer Helpers” program.