The proposed budget for schools is on its way to final passage by the county commission later this summer.
The spending plan met the approval of the county budget committee Tuesday night and will be recommended to the commission for adoption.
Members of the budget committee commended Interim Director of Schools Dr. Danielle Collins for her work on the school budget, which has been adopted by the Board of Education, and for her cooperation.
The committee, made up of Chairman Wayne Cantrell and members Larry Summers, Jack Barton, Jimmy Midgett, and Jerry Adcock, amended the school budget, making minor changes or corrections to certain line items to accurately reflect that funding for extended contracts would not be included as intended by the school board.
This was the second attempt by the Board of Education to satisfy the county budget committee on a school budget.
After the budget committee Tuesday night, June 2 rejected the original spending plan offered May 28, the school board made some cuts last Thursday night, June 4.
In the revised version, the school board cut the request for two RTI positions down to one, hoping federal money can be used to fund the other. No local money is included to cover extended contracts which are no longer funded by the state. The board has decided to save $4,100 by no longer having a billboard on the side of the road near the high school, which has been there for the last several years showing a picture of high school graduates with the theme "Education Counts in DeKalb County". And the board is freezing funding for five positions in the school system, which have been left vacant with the recent retirement or resignation of former employees. While the funding for those five jobs will remain in the budget, the money will not be spent unless the school system's average daily (student) membership numbers increase, requiring them to be filled. The board is also considering dropping its association with AdvancED for accreditation of the schools which would save the school system money. In the school transportation category, the board had budgeted $250,000 for the purchase of two buses but the cost is not expected to be that much. The board has cut $20,000 from that line item of the budget.
The school budget does include a new computer teacher postion at Smithville Elementary School, a new part time janitor position at DeKalb West School, a new school nurse, technology and equipment upgrades, additional supplies for classrooms and intervention programs, a deaf education contract, a new scrubber, and a few other proposed new expenditures.
The school budget for 2015-16 totals just over $21 million dollars. Anticipated revenues are budgeted at $19.3 million. More than $1.6 million of the school's BEP and Technology reserves will be needed to balance the budget on paper but the actual number by the end of the fiscal year in 2016 is expected to be in the neighborhood of $250,000 to $300,000.
The school board will be asked to adopt the budget as amended by the county budget committee.