City BOE hosts first of two public budget hearings
by Briana Webster
Aug 14, 2013 | 1562 views | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Monique Rector, the chief school financial officer for the Jasper City Board of Education, gave an overview of the board’s proposed budget during Tuesday evening’s first of two public budget hearings of the 2013-2014 school year.

The proposed budget presentation is a requirement by the Alabama State Department of Education that must be given every year. The budget was created for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, 2013, and ends Sept. 30, 2014, and it “includes funds received and generated from state, local, other and other financing sources ... is designed to develop for the school system a tool in order to provide an overall plan of the use of financial resources that will best serve the needs of the current student body and to encourage the concept of site based management,” the report states.

Rector skimmed through the first few sections of the budget, which consisted of the anticipated enrollment of students and staff and the salary schedules. She then quickly, but thoroughly, covered the first of two exhibits: P-I and P-II. P-I was a summary of revenues and expenditures of all fund types. The different funds included the general, governmental special revenue, capital projects, proprietary enterprise/internal and fiduciary (school) funds.

“The first few pages list all the revenues, and it begins with the state revenues. The foundation program, that’s what the state department calls their funding for local schools,” Rector said. “Based on our average daily membership from this past year, they’ve planned to give us $12.845 million, and that is to cover salaries and benefits, some classroom supplies, some aides, but mostly that is certified teacher salaries and benefits. The $510,000 is for transportation, and again all these numbers are based on our average daily membership, which is our student population.” 

Additional important numbers of interest include a new category, career tech funding, which consisted of $139,901 to be spent on equipment only. The system anticipates $13.9 million in state funding for this year. Title I programs will get $644,815 — an increase from last year’s funding — and Title II will get $102,415. Other categories covered were the child nutrition program, county and city sales tax, the ROTC program, instructional services, operation and maintenance, auxiliary services and general administrative services.

“The last page of this summary ... If you’ll look at the line that says ‘total all uses,’ that’s our anticipated expenditures, for a total of $28.5 million. The very bottom line is what we anticipate our fund balances to be at the end of next year, a total of $11 million,” Rector said.

P-II was a break down of all the cost centers (buildings/groups) expenses. Rector asked board members to look at the individual cost centers and the rest of the budget over the course of the next week before the next budget hearing on Aug. 19.

“I feel like it’s a good budget,” Rector said. “Our general fund is taking a hit, but we’ve got a healthy balance to take the hit.” 

Superintendent Robert Sparkman commended Rector on a job well done.

“She covered that in 20 minutes, but she’s been working all summer long on it,” Sparkman noted. “That’s a lot of work, and we appreciate that.” 

The board also approved: 

•the minutes from the July 30 meeting.

•the personnel report. Sparkman recognized new members of faculty and staff that will be joining the city school system.

•Board Vice Chairman Willie Moore said he was concerned about the number of teachers they were losing at the last minute before school starts, but Sparkman said they shouldn’t have to replace but only two or three between now and September.

Sparkman also said that many of the losses were due to teachers getting married, relocating because of a spouse or taking a new position elsewhere.

•Elliot Harris, director of auxiliary services for the city school system, brought a new school bus by the city board of education for members to look at.

He said it is the city’s first air conditioned bus.