In several days, the Sampson County Schools Board of Education will approve funding of more than $71.74 million to run the district through June 30, 2018.
The board held a recent work session to receive updates for the 2017-18 academic year. The Sampson County Schools system is expected to receive more than $54.48 million in state funding. The largest chunk of funding, $24.3 million will go to payments for regular teachers. Some of the other funds is set for teacher assistants ($2.12 million), children with special needs ($3.96 million), and school building administration ($2.24 million).
Stephen Britt, district finance officer, expects the total to increase to $80 million when more funding is available.
“We still have some additional state funding that should come in,” Britt said about money for transportation, substitute teachers and grants. “Several funding programs will probably come through after the new federal budget comes in October.
He described it as a “hurry up and wait” game, which is typical for a school budget.
“We don’t get all of our money all at one time,” Britt said. “It comes in throughout the year.”
In local funding, Sampson is getting more than $11 million. Previously, school officials applauded the contribution of the Sampson County Board of Commissioners. The county school system is receiving $1,047 per student, which is a hike of $72. It’s expected to help offset cuts from the state. Money from local funds are going toward utilities and maintenance, administration, driver’s education and staff development.
Other sources of funding includes federal funding at $115, 569; capital outlay, $1.28 million; and child nutrition, $5.85 million.
Board mulls capital projects
During a work session on Aug. 8, the board requested a slimmer list of projects. At the time, there were more than 50 on the list. Now there’s more than 20, after it was prioritized by Mark Hammond, executive director of auxiliary services for the district. The estimated costs of the needs were not listed because a bid process is required.
“We went back through it and tried to get everything that we had committed moved back up to the top,” Hammond said. “We have a pretty good plan on where we want to go and the projects we want to take care of.”
Some of the listed projects include a new roof over the science section of Hobbton High School (HHS), student chairs at at Plain View Elementary School (PVES), and additional playground equipment at Hobbton Elementary School. A few of the system-wide needs include activity bus replacements, upgrading fall protection at playgrounds, HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) repairs, and painting. Major projects included a new student parking lot at Lakewood High School and a track at HHS.
One item left from the original list was a roof project for the bus garage, which is shared with Clinton City Schools. Sampson school board chairman Tim Register said he believes the city school system should make a financial contribution for repairs. State officials give counties one fleet apiece, but two school systems are using the local bus system.
As board members discussed the list, it was also noted that other projects from the old list will be considered if funding is available.
Before a consensus was made for the list, there were inquiries about a HVAC control issue at Salemburg Elementary School and door swiping at PVES. Hammond said funds will be used from the maintenance budget for the upgrades.
The Sampson Board of Education is scheduled to approve the budget and the capital outlay plan during a regular board meeting. It’s scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 21, in the auditorium at Central Office, 437 Rowan Road, Clinton.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.