Sampson County Schools will seek close to $7.7 million from county commissioners for the upcoming 2013-14 school year, which allows for $896 per pupil.
This request is slightly higher than last year’s request of just a little over $7.3 million, with $859 allocated per pupil.
During the school board’s work session this past Tuesday, superintendent Dr. Ethan Lenker presented members this proposed but still very tentative budget.
During a conversation on Wednesday, just 20 minutes before Gov. Pat McCrory’s state budget was released, Lenker noted that the county schools’ 2013-14 proposed fiscal plan could undergo changes before being presented to commissioners, particularly as it pertains to what may be in the governor’s budget. Staff will be looking at McCrory’s budget over the next few days and could make recommended changes before the board green lights the plan for county review.
For the time being,however, the 2013-14 budget is very similar to last year’s, featuring only a few small changes and adjustments.
Anticipating a cut of $278,109 in the state budget for low wealth funding, the school board is requesting that that exact amount be added to the approved county funds from last year of $500,000 for teachers, totaling $778, 109 for this upcoming school year.
The board is also requesting $557 be added to last year’s $27,830 designated for clerical purposes, a move made in anticipation of a shortfall in the state budget.
Similarly, last year the board asked commissioners for $100,000 for plant operations, specifically for custodians, which was approved. As they look ahead to next year, the board is requesting an additional $2,000 for custodians, yet another adjustment made due to expected but uncertain changes in the state budget.
According to Lenker, the majority of the funds requested, 90 percent of the $7.7 million, will cover the operation costs of the school buildings, including maintenance, electricity, energy, water, and sewer.
After reviewing the budget and highlighting these minor changes, Lenker asked the board to consider two possible expansion items. One possible request would be for $15,000 for maintenance on the schools’ security cameras. A second request would be for $44,000 for a full-time AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) teacher at Union Middle School.
The school board will consider these expansion items and a final decision will be made at a later date, but before ending the work session, chairman Telfair Simpson called the proposed budget “very reasonable,” adding that it has “no fluff.”
Lauren Williams can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 117 or via email at email@example.com.