County BOE passes $21.4M budget

Published 12:05 am Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Covington County School Board passed a more than $21.4 million budget Wednesday for the next fiscal year that included a $200,000 cushion in the event the state makes additional cuts in funding.

Shauna Robertson, the system’s chief financial officer, said the system expects $21.4 million in revenue and $20.7 million in expenditures.

“Although we’ve been faced with three years of proration and continued funding cuts for the 2012 fiscal year, we think this budget continues to provide for an efficient and sound instructional system,” she said. “We’ll finish the year with an increase just shy of $200,000, but that’s with the assumption that no additional proration is declared between now and the end of the year.”

Robertson said not utilizing local funds for teacher units was one of the key factors for the system’s slight surplus.

“Years ago, we looked to the future to anticipate what our needs were going to be,” she said. “It’s paying off now.”

Of the budgeted funds, 63 percent is from state funds; 14 percent from federal funds for programs such a Title I, special education and child nutrition; and the remaining 23 percent is from local tax revenues and other sources.

Robertson said the required 10-mils of local ad valorem taxes have decreased slightly.

“It’s approximately $54,000 from the prior fiscal year, which makes our contribution to the Foundation Program $2.5 million,” she said. “That decrease, along with a reduction in overall expenditures, has allowed us to present the general fund budget with a slight increase.”

The Foundation Program guarantees a certain level of funding for each student or group of students, and its prescribed dollar amount is based on ad valorem collections for the area.

Superintendent Terry Holley described the system’s new budget as “sound.”

Robertson said as for currently collections of sales tax revenue and ad valorem taxes, collections are “right on point.”

“Through August, sales tax revenue is up a smidge – 4 percent from last year’s year-to-date totals, but we’ve seen a slight decrease in ad valorem collections,” she said. “Both totals are on track for what was budgeted.”

In other business, the board approved to hire Brittany Ann Skipper as a lunchroom worker at Red Level High School and to solicit bids for walk-in cooler and freezer at W.S. Harlan Elementary School and for a walk-in cooler box at RLHS.