SCS facing $1.3 million in state cuts

By: By Chase Jordan -

Officials from Sampson County Schools are getting closer to approving a budget for next year’s school operations.

Superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy and Finance Officer Stephen Britt made a presentation of state and local funds to the Sampson County Schools Board of Education during a recent work session.

The state budget is more than $57 million. From that total, a large chunk of $24.39 million is going toward classroom teachers.

It’s also showing that SCS will lose money in central office support — one teacher and one instructional support position. SCS is also expecting cuts for Disadvantage Student Supplemental Funding, exceptional children, Limited English Proficiency (LEP), at-risk students and low wealth funding, which is distributed when a county’s ability to produce local income for public education is below the state’s average. Bracy said another surprise was a $116,000 decrease in early college funding.

In all, the total cuts are more than $1.31 million. From that total, the loss of transfer flexibility of $228,000 is also included. Britt said it’s an issue hard for many people to understand.

“The more restricted and the more regulated the state makes the budget, the more difficult it is for us to operate within that budget,” Britt said.

Britt said the state removed ability to transfer funds out of funding for program such as LEP. Before they were able to move funds to pay teachers with lower salaries.

Sampson County Schools is expecting a decrease of 70 Individualized Education Program (IEP) students. The program is developed for children with special needs. SCS ended the year with about 950 IEP students. The loss of funding is $282,878.

With local funding, Britt said the district was able to recoup funding in state decreases. The district is expecting to receive $11 million. Funding will help out with needs for traveling and school supplies.

“That’s a very conservative estimate,” Britt said. “I expect that we’ll bring in a little more than $11 million.”

Britt expects to receive more funding from driver’s education and county fines and forfeitures, which go toward local education.

During the presentation, Bracy thanked the Sampson County Board of Commissioners for their contribution, which increased from last year. The county school system is receiving $1,047 per student, which is a hike of $72. He said the increase will help offset cuts from the state.

“We certainly appreciate (County Manager Ed Causey) and the Board of Commissioners for their continued support,” Bracy said.


Bracy: Pupil funding hike to offset cuts

By Chase Jordan

Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.

Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.