Budget approved

The Pell City School Board approved a $39 million fiscal year budget during a meeting held Tuesday.

The Pell City School Board unanimously approved the $39 million 2019 fiscal year budget Tuesday night.

The Board approved the budget after the second and final budget hearing Tuesday, prior to the regularly-scheduled board meeting.

Superintendent Dr. Michael Barber publicly thanked Tanya Holcombe, the Chief School Finance Officer, and her staff, for putting the budget together and presenting it to the Board and the public.

He also thanked school principals and bookkeepers for their involvement with the budget process.

Holcombe told the board that the budget, staffing and the funds the school system receives is based on student enrollment.

She said the school system saw a drop in enrollment numbers for the fiscal year 2018 to 2019 of about 85 students, but the system experienced an overall increase in enrollment this year to 4,041 students, but that number would be used for the 2020 fiscal year budget because state funding is always in the arrears or lags behind one year.

Holcombe said based on the enrollment of 3,911 students, the 2019 budget will fund a total of 454 employees, which accounts for about 74 percent of the total budget. The budget will fund salaries for 245 teachers, 9 librarians, 10 counselors, 22 administrators, 3 certified support staff and 165 non-certified support staff.

She said $24,939,857 in state funds account for about 63 percent of the total budget. Revenues received from local funds total $10,595,502, about 27 percent of the total budget. Nine percent of the budget, $3,630,966, comes from federal dollars, with one percent of the funding coming from other sources.  

Holcombe said the school system’s total debt service is $29,197,543, with about $2 million in payments during fiscal year 2019, which starts Oct. 1, and ends Sept. 30, 2019.

She said the school system is projected to finish fiscal year 2019 with an ending fund balance of $4.7 million, almost twice the amount required by the state for the Pell City School System. The Pell City School System is only required to have $2.6 million in reserve or one month of operating expenses.