The Calhoun County school system’s $94 million budget for the 2019 fiscal year changes little from last year, and the district’s reserves are triple that of state requirements, the school board learned Friday.
The system’s chief financial officer, Tina Parris, presented the spending plan to the board at the first of two budget hearings.
While total revenues for Calhoun County Schools are projected to be $94 million, total expenses are estimated at $110 million. Parris said much of that difference is due making payments on a bond issue. Looking at the $70 million general fund — the fund on which schools operate daily — officials will likely dip into reserves by $274,000. Parris said that money will be for four additional teachers needed because of increased enrollment.
School systems are allocated money by the state based on the previous year’s enrollment. The fact that four teachers were needed would indicate a uptick in enrollment. Parris credited the district’s added online course offerings and building renovations as reasons for the increase.
Parris said general administrative costs of the district represent 2.8 percent of the total general fund budget.
“Which I think is phenomenal,” she said.
The state requires each school district to have a one-month operating reserve. Calhoun County Schools’ reserve is projected to be 3.04 months at the end of the 2019 fiscal year.
General fund revenues and expenses have changed little from the 2018 fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. Revenues for that time frame were $69 million and expenses were $68.9 million.
The board’s next budget hearing will be 4 p.m. Thursday at White Plains Elementary School.
The school board on Friday also held a work session to discuss hiring a new superintendent. The current head of the system, Joe Dyar, will retire on Dec. 31.
Though board members took no vote, they agreed school leaders should conduct the search themselves rather than paying a school board association to do so. The board agreed to have its attorney review a job description and vote to advertise the position at the next meeting. Board members said the applications should be sealed until new board members are elected in November.