School board to hold budget hearing

By Jessi Stone Assistant editor | Apr 16, 2013

The Haywood County Board of Education will hold a public hearing to discuss the proposed 2013-14 local budget at 7 p.m. April 18 at the Education Center in Clyde.

The board briefly went over the proposed budget during a April 15 meeting. Finance Director Bob Phillips presented the preliminary budget, which he said was increased about $421,000, or 2.5 percent, over last year. The local county appropriation for 2012-13 was about $14.3 million.

The local budget makes up about 21 percent of the schools’ overall budget. According to budget documents, the local 2012-13 budget has a $1.9 million fund balance.

“Thus far, no one in HCS has lost their job. Personnel who left the school system have not been replaced,” the budget summary stated. “However, the 2013-14 school year could actually have us using our Reduction in Force Policy. Haywood County Schools has lost 129 positions since 2008.”

Superintendent Dr. Anne Garrett said the school system will be asking the Haywood County commissioners to grant an additional $500,000 to fund four more school guidance counselors and four more school resource officers for safety purposes.

According to the school’s budget statement, “recent events have heightened our concern for school safety and security. County commissioners have expressed their support of measures to make our schools and students safer and more secure.”

Other personnel changes projected for 2013-14 include two additional teachers, one at Central Haywood High School and one at Haywood Early College, one additional social worker and one LEP teacher.

The proposed capital outlay budget is about $1.4 million and includes funding for repairs, renovations, equipment and safety improvements, according to Maintenance Director Tracy Hargrove.

“Everything under renovations and construction are projects we’ve identified as desperately needed projects,” he said.

The proposed capital outlay budget includes $40,000 for doors and locks and $350,000 for a door scan system to improve school safety. Hargrove said most of the new locks would be used at middle and high schools where students have to travel in and out of buildings to get to classes.

Phillips reminded the board that the budget numbers were very preliminary and could change based on the commissioners’ approval of funding, health care costs and state allotments.

Alison Francis, Child Nutrition Program director, said her budget would be increasing 2.1 percent because of personnel raises and benefits. She also reminded the board that school lunches would need to be increased by 10 cents for the 2013-14 school year because of new requirements by the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.

The local budget also funds things like principal supplements and travel costs, summer month employment for athletic and band directors, student supplies/equipment/services, about $278,000 in coaching salaries, about $18,000 for band and fine arts education, about $3.2 million for operation/utilities of school facilities and $1.8 million for facilities maintenance.

Last year, the schools’ other funding included about $39 million from the State Public School Fund, $6.6 million from federal programs, $5 million from school nutrition, $285,367 from capital outlay – local government and about $2.5 million in other revenues.

Here is the complete preliminary budget document. This document has not been approved and is subject to change.

Budget 2013-2014

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