School budget hearing is set for 6 p.m. Monday

By Vicki Hyatt | Mar 13, 2017

A public hearing on the proposed budget for the Haywood County Consolidated School System will be held at 6 p.m. Monday at the Education Center in Clyde.

While the state funding levels aren’t yet known, the board of education is presenting an estimated budget based on a funding formula long established with the Haywood County Board of Commissioners.

The formula, which provides $2,065 for each student attending the public school system, provides a $16.2 million current expense operating budget.

The largest item of the budget, $7.2 million, goes toward noninstructional support — public utility costs for the 16 campuses, substitute teachers, clerical staff, fuel, custodians, waste disposal, building repairs/service needs, computer software and more.

Another large chunk of the budget, $1.6 million, goes toward providing classroom teachers — local educators hired to ensure appropriate class sizes in each school. Many of the teachers are needed because the state formula provides a lump sum funding per student, depending on grade level, but does not consider the numerous classes and schools in which are divided. If the school system didn’t hire extra teaching staff with local funds, for example, there could be classes that included two grade levels, as once existed in the county, to even out class size numbers, which are dictated by the state.

Another big-ticket item, $904,000 is central office administrative services, which include costs such as required administrative staff not funded by the state, insurance, utilities, supplies, criminal record checks and supplement pay.

Other costs include school building administration, $311,500; instructional support, $291,000; instructional supplies and materials, $213,000; athletic coaching supplements, $283,000; remediation programs, $272,000; technology support, $528,000; employee supplement, $2 million; school resource officers, $221,000, transfer to other public schools, $882,000.

In addition to the local expense current operating budget, the public hearing will include the proposed $4 million child nutrition budget where school lunch prices will rise by 5 cents a meal as per federal guidelines and a $700,000 capital expense budget.

The board of education will hold its regularly scheduled meeting at 7 p.m. following the hearing.