The Sampson County Board of Education is on track to approve a budget for the upcoming meeting, which includes minor changes in funding for salaries, school programs and county assistance.
“It’s a very tight budget year, we’re going have to be conservative with our resources from the state,” said Superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy. “We’re going to have to be extra strategic and extra conservative with what we do financially in our district to maintain our financial stability.”
The district plans to spend more than $83.8 million to operate the school district through June 30, 2016. Sampson County Schools will receive more than $55 million from the state public school fund and additional funds from the local current expense ($12 million), federal funds ($10 million), capital outlay ($850,000) and child nutrition ($6 million).
The current expense budget includes more than $1.5 million for instruction and $8.2 million for other support which includes central office administration, maintenance and special projects.
In addition, Sampson County received more than $8 million from Sampson County officials, which is a 6.5 percent increase from the previous school year. The Sampson County Board of Commissioners approved $930 per student, which was $20 less than what the district requested for the upcoming school year. For the prior academic year, the awarded amount was $880, a total of $7.5 million.
Teachers are expected to receive a base pay of $35,000, which is a $2,000 increase. Driver’s education is expected to stay in place as well. Original plans called for it to be cut after July 1. The matter was a major holdup when it came to approving the budget, which was expected to be ready in early July. Bracy said it’s a worthwhile process.
“The more we put our kids behind the wheel for driver’s training, I think they’ll become better drivers eventually,” Bracy previously said about the program.
Some of the highlighted portions of the current expense budget includes more than $65,000 for Lakewood High School’s ROTC program and $54,000 for the Union High School ROTC students.
Funds for the transportation department will dip from $97,948 to $87,998. One aspect includes a cut to bus driver salaries and instructional supplies which is being slashed by about $1,000.