- Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 June 2011 15:13
- Published on Wednesday, 08 June 2011 15:13
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The King George School Board adopted a categorical budget for 2011-12 at its last meeting that took place on May 23. The 2011-12 fiscal year begins on July 1. The School Board’s operating budget was set at $32,948,145 by the Board of Supervisors and adopted by categories as provided in state law.
The categorical amounts set by the School Board differ from the ones approved by the Board of Supervisors in the end of April. Supervisors are provided the authority in state law to adopt the School Board’s budget either by lump sum or by categories.
In early April, the county had requested from Superintendent Candace Brown a categorical breakdown. Because Brown did not provide it, t
he categorical amounts had been calculated for adoption by Donita Harper, Deputy County Administrator/Director of Finance.
The biggest change by the School Board’s action on May 23 was to decrease the Administration category by more than $50,000.
Brown noted that the budget reflected a 2 percent salary increase for all employees beginning in January, as had been provided to the division and urged for follow-through by supervisors to match the rest of the county.
Prior to approval, there was no comment by members of the School Board on any of the categorical changes. There were no explanations as to why the categorical amounts were different. In fact, the differences from the categorical amounts were not even pointed out by Brown at the meeting.
At an earlier meeting on May 9, Brown had told the School Board she had a put call in to Harper, adding, “I need to talk to her to see what needs to be done and if the Board of Supervisors would be willing to adjust those categories or not.” She added about the categories, “Because some have more money than they need.” The Administration category has more than $50,000 more than Brown said it needed.
NO IMPACT ON PROGRAMS
It was at that same May 9 meeting that Brown said there would be “no impact” on classes and programs for next school year with her budget adjustments.
The week previously, at a special meeting on May 2, one of the motions adopted by the School Board was to “direct staff to request that the Board of Supervisors appropriate any 2010-11 operating fund balance to the School Board’s 2011-12 operating budget.”
That request has not been publicly mentioned since and according to county staff, Brown later told them she was withdrawing the request for surplus funds from consideration by Supervisors at this time.
APPROPRIATIONS EXPECTED JUNE 21
Harper told The Journal she would bring the new categorical amounts forward for approval and appropriation by the Board of Supervisors at its meeting later this month on June 21.
It’s not clear whether there will be an explanation provided to supervisors at that meeting as to the reasons why the adjustments are being requested to change the categorical amounts as currently adopted.
SUPERVISORS’ NUMBERS FOR SCHOOL BOARD CATEGORICAL BUDGET
Supervisors approved the School Board budget by education categories established in state law.
The categorical amounts approved by the Board of Supervisors as calculated by Harper for adoption are:
• Instruction - $22,466,842
• Administration - $773,180
•Technology - $1,347,640
• Transportation - $2,199,625
• Operations/Maintenance - $3,373,152
• Facilities - $106,937
• Debt Service - $144,349
• Fund 251 - $1,176,071
• Fund 252 - $1,360,349
BROWN’S NUMBERS FOR SCHOOL BOARD CATEGORICAL BUDGET
Brown’s categorical amounts as approved by the School Board are:
• Instruction - $22,495,161- higher by $28,319
• Administration - $720,872 - lower by $52,308
• Technology - $1,347,640 – higher by $7,311
• Transportation - $2,210,117, higher by $10,492
• Operations/Maintenance - $3,383,215, higher by $10,063
• Facilities - $103,060 - lower by $3,877
• Debt Service - $144,349 – no change (For lease-purchase of school buses.)
• Fund 251 - $1,176,071 – remaining stimulus funding - no change
• Fund 252 - $1,360,349 – other federal grant funding - no change
The School Board cannot exceed the amounts approved in each category under state law.
The Cafeteria Fund was also adopted in the amount of $1,320,764. That fund is not included in the School Board operating budget, but is a separate fund that is currently self-supporting and has the ability to carry forward any surplus balance to any following fiscal year.
That does not include an additional funding amount of $4,239,108 for debt service on the new high school and other schools built in the last several years.
It has not been clarified as to why the two separate amounts for Debt Service have not been combined.
COUNTY FUNDING FOR SCHOOLS
The local county funding for schools is $11,720,732. That amount includes $9,189,634 as the required local effort under the Standards of Quality (SOQs). The county has provided the School Board with an additional $2,531,098 in local funding over that required for local effort amount. That translates to the county providing the School Board with 27 percent more than the amount required by state law for required local effort (RLE).