DOUBLE SPRINGS - The Winston County Board of Education held their first budget hearing at the regular meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 28, with anticipated revenue and budgeting expenditures staying close to the same amount.
The purpose of the budget hearing is to aid in the communication of financial information to the public and to solicit input into the budgeting process.
“We’re accountable to the public as how we utilize our financial resources,” Andrew McCay, chief school financial officer, said.
The entire presentation, along with the proposed budget, is available for the public to peruse at winstonk12.org under “News and Announcements.”
Anticipated revenue for fiscal year 2019 is $27,241,078. The most significant portion is state revenue at 60%.
The largest state allocation is through the foundation program in the amount of $12,453,573, an increase of $91,440 from FY 2018. Transportation revenue, operations, from the state is $2,304,863.
“The foundation program is funded by state tax dollars, as well as local tax dollars. The local dollars that we are required to contribute is known as our state required match,” McCay said. This amount is $2,611,360.
Federal revenues allocated saw an increase in all programs with the exception of Title II (class size reduction). Title I (for elementary and middle schools) is the largest revenue allocation with $667,959. Overall, there was an increase in federal revenues of $44,510. However, this amount in federal revenue will not cover the state’s 2.5% raise in salaries and benefits.
Federal grant monies for title programs help provide for teachers, instructional aides, technology assistants and central office personnel.
In other revenue sources, First Class Pre-K grants were renewed for Addison, Meek and Lynn, with two grants for Addison. These four grants provide an additional $371,000 in revenue to be used for teachers, aides and classroom equipment and supplies.
Classroom instructional support monies are broken down into the following categories:
•student materials: $536.06/unit;
•library enhancement: $96.14/unit;
•professional development: $90/unit;
The countywide amount for textbooks are $160,817.
“These funds are the ones that are spent at the discretion of each school’s faculty by utilizing budget committees,” McCay mentioned.
Funding factors that affect the budget include the raise of 2.5% along with a matching retirement rate increase. There was also a loss of 98 students factored in to the budget for FY 2019.
As for costs, one of the most significant is the amount transferred from the general fund to the Child Nutrition Program which covers the cost of employee benefits and past raises. This “pass-thru” amount for FY 2019 is $673,073.22.
In addition, there is a cost for substitute teachers, which at the end of FY 2018, the projected cost is $201,000.
Coaching and band supplements, paid by the board for FY 2019, is in the amount of $242,000.
“You know that extracurricular activities are very important to the success of our school system,” McCay said. “Without them, our school system would look very different than it does today.”
Another significant cost are the utility bills. Water and electricity for all schools for FY 2017 was $674,568 and FY 2018 at $657,226. FY 2019 was budgeted at $732,000.
Budgeting expenditures has a system-wide FY 2019 amount of $27,891,136.66, which is a decrease of $487,677.91 from FY 2018. The largest portion of the expenditures is instructional services, or classroom teachers, in the amount of $12,339,583.54, being 46% of all expenditures.
Revenues received but not used in the previous fiscal year is called a fund balance. The budgeted fund balance beginning Oct. 1, 2018, is $2,211,964.24 and ending on Sept. 30, 2019, at $2,433,851.28.
McCay ended the budget portion of the meeting with the following statement:
“We don’t know what we’ll face next year. Most likely we will have some challenges, but my hope is that we’re going to see a lot more positive things happening.
You know that there’s many good things going on in our school system. In every school we have, there’s caring and talented teachers, administrators and support staff who are truly called into education. In every school, these educators and their students are continuing to succeed despite any obstacles that they face. That’s something we can all be proud of.”
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.