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December 22, 2014

Talladega County Board of Education eyes 4 percent growth in budget

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Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 9:53 pm

Officials from the Talladega County Board of Education released a glimpse at the projected budget for fiscal year 2015 during a scheduled budget work session Tuesday morning.

According to figures presented by Chief School Financial Officer Avery Embry, the total projected budget for the upcoming year totals $78,632,078, a more than 4 percent increase compared to the fiscal year 2014 budget.

For fiscal year 2015, projected state funds represent 54.39 percent of the total proposed revenue, while 26.66 percent comes from local funds, 10.04 percent from federal funds and 8.91 percent from other sources.

Similar to the fiscal year 2014 budget, the bulk of projected expenditures for fiscal year 2015 will go toward instruction and instructional support, with 42.23 percent and 16.42 percent expected to be spent, respectively.

“Our budget is built around our goals and what we try to accomplish for our students,” Superintendent Dr. Suzanne Lacey said. “That’s why you can see instruction is our greatest expense, because we’re all about teaching, learning and supporting our students and teachers in that way. The budget is built around supporting the needs of our workers.”

While Lacey contended the budget did not show a significant increase, she raved about the increase in allocations for teachers.

“If you look at teachers from fiscal year 2014 to fiscal year 2015, you see that we earned almost 12 additional teaching units, which shows a very positive thing because teacher units are based on growth in enrollment of students,” Lacey said. “We were encouraged by that this year. Lincoln Elementary School, Munford Elementary School and Fayetteville (High School) really took up those teacher units because those were where we had the most growth last year and where those units were earned.”

She also discussed the plans for continuing forward with the school’s 1:1 Technology Initiative, noting A.H. Watwood Elementary School would be one of four schools to benefit from the initiative in the coming year.

“We receive zero dollars for technology,” Lacey said. “Our board has invested close to $9 million in technology. That’s with no state funding. There’s always a lot of conversation at the state level for the support of technology, but there never seems to be any dollars allocated for it. We have taken ownership of that and the importance of moving forward in our school system with appropriate technology to support learning.”

Discussions regarding the projected budget will continue at the board’s second budget work session, scheduled for Thursday at 5 p.m. before the scheduled school board meeting.

Contact Shane Dunaway at sdunaway@dailyhome.com

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