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   2014 39.95 HSD w VIDor PH-Banner2-500-x-125

School Board adopts revised budget reflecting state funding decrease

The King George School Board last week on June 30 amended its 2014-15 budget amounts and categorical distributions as recommended by division Superintendent Rob Benson to reflect lower state revenues.

While making reductions for the next fiscal year’s bottom line to reduce expenditures and recognize slack existing in the budget, other action at the same meeting on the last day of the fiscal year was to encumber more of the surplus funds left at the end of the outgoing 2013-14 fiscal year. (See related article elsewhere in this issue.)

The new 2014-15 budget numbers and category amounts line up with the final funding allocation in the state budget that was signed into law the previous week.

The next step will be for the county Board of Supervisors to approve the new categorical amounts and make adjustments to the School Board’s allocations for the new fiscal year, which began on July 1.  

At a meeting the previous week on June 24, Supervisors had approved allocations of funding for only the first quarter of 2014-15 for schools and all county departments, with the expectation that changes would be coming in the amounts for state revenue at the next meeting in mid July.

The new lower School Board budget amount differs from the previously approved budget adopted on June 9 by reducing the Instructional category by $257,491 and by increasing Fund 252 for federal grants by $8,417 and a small adjustment to the Cafeteria Fund.

There were no other changes to the categorical amounts, which are listed below.

REVISED CATEGORICAL BUDGET
Action by the School Board on June 30 to approve a revised line item budget reflected the following budget amounts for major categories, as defined under state law.

The approved categories are expected to go to the Board of Supervisors for appropriation at its next meeting on July 15. The categorical breakdown is listed below for the 2014-15 budget year, which began on July 1:
• Instruction – $26,613,613, amended down from $26,871,104.
• Technology - $1,673,701, no change.
• Administration, Attendance & Health - $1,039,136, no change.
• Transportation – $2,566,499, no change.
• Operations & Maintenance - $3,724,004, no change.
• Facilities - $68,948, no change.
• Total of Operating Fund 250 - $35,685,901 amended down from $35,943,392.
• Federal grants – Fund 252 - $1,290,786 amended up from $1,282,369.
The above amounts include all lines in the operating budget, adding up to a new total of $36,976,687, down from its previously approved total of $37,225,761.

The following two accounts make up the rest of the School Board total budget:
Cafeteria Fund 255 - $1,478,673, amended to $1,483,829.
Debt Service - $4,387,853, no change.
Total of all funds – amended to $42,848,369, down from $43,092,287.

BUDGET ADJUSTMENTS
The reason for the state decrease in local school division revenues is a change in methodology for calculating state funding for the K-3 Primary Class Size Reduction program. That change resulted in $316,509 less for King George.

To make up the difference of $316,500 and still fund 2-percent raises across the board for all employees, the adoption of the new budget figures from Benson reflects the following adjustments, which had been amended and updated since the previous week.

- $65,834 – Deletes two vacant Special Education positions that are no longer needed for a paraprofessional and a communication specialist.

- $183,240 – Recognizes slack in budget available from ‘breakage’ using the actual known personnel costs for teachers with new hires coming in at a lower salary to replace higher paid personnel who retired or resigned at the end of the school year.

- $85,095 – Recognizes additional state revenue projection by using higher average daily membership (ADM) figure of 4,189 students than original budgeted figure of 4,170. The actual ADM for next year could end up much higher with the division’s typical growth trend, since it ended the 2013-14 year with an ADM of 4,202 students.

Phyllis Cook

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