SCS board moves ahead with budget

By Chase Jordan - [email protected]
Bracy -

With a new fiscal year underway, Sampson County School officials are moving forward with spending plans for the next couple of months.

The Board of Education recently approved continuing budget resolutions for district operations. The $13.55 million budget was recently approved during a recent meeting with school officials. Funds are being used from July 1 through Aug. 31.

It includes revenue estimates from state public school fund, $9 million; local current expense, $2.2 million; federal funds, $1 million; capital outlay, $350,000 and child nutrition, $1 million.

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a $23 billion spending plans for the state for several reasons, but legislatures overrode it with a 76-43 vote in the House. With education, Cooper believes it will affect plans such as getting teacher pay up to the national average by the 2020s.

“This budget neglects our schools and our economy at a time when North Carolina should be making public education stronger, not giving special breaks to those at the top,” Cooper stated in a message. “It prioritizes tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations and shortchanges our workforce and schools at a pivotal time of growth.”

But according to Associated Press reports, Republican legislators said the measure meets Cooper’s recommendation of a 10 percent average pay increase for teachers through the mid-2019. The final budget is projecting a 9.6 percent increase in two years. It also includes 3.3 percent on average pay raise in the fall.

For the upcoming school year, officials from the Sampson district will set an official budget, following appropriations from the state. It’s expected to come with increases in teacher salaries.

Sampson Superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy applauded the efforts of legislators for teacher pay.

“We appreciate legislative support to increase teacher salaries, particularly for new and our most veteran teachers,” Bracy said.

School officials are still reviewing the principal and assistant principal salary changes to determine the impact on schools. He’s also concerned about decreased funding for central office administration. It’s estimated that about 7.4 percent will be cut throughout the state.

“Continued cuts to central offices will effect our ability to provide support for teaching and operations of our schools,” Bracy said.

Some of the other highlights include close to $40 million to teach an additional 9,120 public school students; 11.3 million for classroom textbooks and digital materials; and $6.3 million for increasing funding allotments for children with disabilities.

For school operations during the 2016-17 budget, the district used $78 million from state, federal, county and grant funds.

During a recent budget session, Sampson County Commissioners recently approved funding for the school district at $1,047 per pupil, which is a 6.1 increase from the previous budget period, in which the district received $8.18 million from commissioners.

Spending OK’d through August as state stalls

By Chase Jordan

[email protected]