Members of the Clinton City Board of Education spent two hours combing through the final budget and making plans to adopt the budget during next week’s monthly meeting.
During a work session Tuesday morning, finance director Susan Harrison presented the 2017-18 proposed budget to board members and is seeking their approval at the October board meeting.
While budgets fluctuate throughout the year, if approved, Harrison said the city’s personnel will be working with a $27,584,925 budget, with 11 amendments already waiting to be made. Of that nearly $30 million budget, $18,113,977 is from state funds, $6,018,017 in local funds, $2,431,517 in federal funds and $1,021,414 in other special revenue.
“Our beginning budget is done based on what the system currently has,” Harrison explained to board members.
A good portion of the system’s budget accounts for $13,948,026 in salaries, benefits and training that is allocated for staff members.
According to the finance director, the majority of classroom teachers are paid from the $8.6 million received in state funds. Harrison explained that she uses state funds to pay teacher salaries before dipping into local funds. Currently, there are 9.4 teaching positions that are paid from the local funds.
“We want to make sure we maximize our state and federal funds,” Harrison explained.
In last year’s approved budget, the board allocated $34,759 for textbooks, however none of the money was used. The amount is determined based on the number of books ordered from the state textbook warehouse. This year’s proposed budget includes $128,583 to purchase new textbooks.
“The books we currently have are outdated,” Dr. Kelly Batts, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, said. “We are trying to replace our books on a rotation.”
The system has made great strides in the last year to equip students with Chromebooks. Many of the textbooks are now digital, however, Batts said classes use workbooks and textbooks. A majority of the workbooks are consumable, but a good portion of the books need to be replaced.
“This money is definitely needed,” board member Georgina Zeng said. “We need our kids to have textbooks.”
During Tuesday’s discussion, Harrison said the district’s appropriated fund balance was increased by $350,000 — $100,000 of that to cover the cost of an additional kindergarten teacher, teacher’s assistant and the fee for students who are attending the virtual charter school. The proposed fund balance is $850,000.
“Because of the conditions we have set in place to move our district forward, we can spend the additional $350,000 of the fund balance,” superintendent Dr. Stuart Blount said.
The proposed county appropriation is $294,776. The district has a carryover amount of $306,930 proposed. If approved, there will be $601,706 in the total budget for capital outlay. Within that capital outlay budget, $375,353 has been designated for buildings and land, $196,353 for furniture and equipment and $30,000 for vehicles.
According to the budget, $2,363,500 is being proposed for the child nutrition department, $1,200,877 for vocational education and $1,957,807.64 for exceptional children.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.