Opp BOE passes $14.27M budget

Published 1:20 am Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Opp City Schools recently approved a $14.27 million budget for the next budget year, which begins Oct. 1, budget Superintendent Michael Smithart said was good and allowed the system to slowly restore programs that had been cut in the past.
“Mrs. (Linda) Harper and our staff work very diligently to make sure we are maximizing our limited resources and make the most efficient use of what we have,” Smithart said. “We have been able to slowly restore some of the programs and activities we lost during the most difficult times.”
Smithart was referring to several years of steep cuts and proration in the Education Trust Fund.
During that time, OCS and other schools had to make tough decision to cut extra programs.
Smithart said they have been able to hire an adjunct art teacher at Opp High School and have added another kindergarten class, thanks to growth.
“Growth in kindergarten is promising because that is typically a product of people remaining in the community and establishing roots,” he said. “We haven’t had growth in the middle and high school. Those grow when people move to the community. We need that also.
Despite all the positives, Smithart said there are challenges that lie ahead.
“We are in no way out of the woods,” Smithart said. “Changes in federal regulations are looming and there is always uncertainty on the state level. It is crucial to our long-term plans that we see some growth on the local level. With that said, we continue to provide a high-quality education to our students, and we treasure the resources we have available. It is a testimony to our teachers and staff that our students are achieving and graduating ready for college and/or a career of their choice.”
Harper, chief financial officer, said that:
•  $8.4 million will come from state funds;
• $1.5 million will come from federal funds;
• $3.13 million from local funds;
•  $52,085 from other and
• $1.01 million from other sources.
Expenditures are slightly higher than the revenue.
• Instructional expenses are: $8.5 million;
• Operations and maintenance: $1.4 million;
• Bus and lunchroom: $1.4 million;
• Administrative: $727,167;
• Debt service: $700,715;
• Other: $511,282;
• Other uses: $916,620;
Harper explained that the state foundation program funds were calculated off of an Average Daily Membership of 1,303.45.
Systemwide there are 154 employees.