Fri08292014

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Supervisors revise school budget to match $1.2M gap

The King George School Board this week reviewed figures that Superintendent Candace Brown provided to make cuts in the current year’s budget due to lower enrollment.
Brown had likewise provided the county with the amount for cuts and last week they were incorporated into county budget cuts that total $1,203,548 in the current year’s 2009-10 school division budget.  
These cuts are due to lower state revenue to match lower student enrollment. In December, the state revised its estimated average daily membership for King George from 4,095 students to 4,039.  
That’s because the higher number of students did not materialize.
Under that scenario, the county was also provided the ability to cut its funding to match the lower enrollment figure.

NO CUTs to LOCAL FUNDING    
Though supervisors have the option of cutting back local funding in the current year to match lower enrollments like the state, they did not make any local funding cuts for the current year.  
The county Board of Supervisors instead is maintaining local funding of division schools based on the higher number of students that did not all turn up.
The county board has never cut local funding to the School Board from an adopted budget when enrollments have dropped in the past, and this year will be no different.  
Last week, the Board of Supervisors adopted budget amendments reflecting state revenue cuts affecting county departments and constitutional offices, as well as the School Board.  
Supervisors also requested the School Board provide the county with new, lower categorical amounts to reflect the budget areas where cuts are made.

BROWN’S CUTS    
This week, on Monday, Feb. 22, the School Board reviewed Brown’s $1.2 million in cuts to match the lower state funding.  
No lay offs will take place.  
Brown’s cuts include surplus amounts in various positions that are currently vacant.  
Those cuts in non-filled positions total $242,299 for salaries, FICA and retirement contributions.
Brown is cutting $341,600 from health insurance, saying that the unfilled positions and other employees changing their health insurance subscriptions contributed to the high amount.
Brown also said she made some cuts to a portion of the budgets for general supplies, instructional materials and textbooks/workbooks, cutting $118,113, $149,995 and $32,000 respectively.
Bus fuel cuts totaled $100,000, with Brown saying that days missed for snow and lower gas prices contributed to the overage.  
Summer school was cut by $19,436, with Brown noting summer school is largely a “fee for service.”
The staff travel budget was cut by $35,939, dues/memberships cut by $6,078, architecture and engineering cut by $45,420 and building improvements cut by $20,000.   
Purchased services were cut by $30,141, with Brown saying that was mostly earmarked for printing.
Other cuts were listed as $21,703 for retiree health care credit, $10,000 for instrument purchase, $6,337 for mentor program, $6,500 cut for multicultural program, and $12,000 cut for tuition reimbursement.
Brown is expected to bring back new categorical amounts for formal approval by the School Board and direction to forward to the county board for adoption.

Phyllis Cook
Staff reporter

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