The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

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April 13, 2012

SCS to weigh budget options

Friday, April 13, 2012 — In an attempt to prepare for a projected $3.1 million shortfall in the 2012-2013 budget, the finance committee for Stanly County Schools approved a draft of proposed reduction ideas during their committee meeting Tuesday night. The proposals will be presented to the full Stanly County School Board on May 1.

Carrie Cox, finance director for Stanly County Schools, explained that despite seeing a project increase of $635,000 in local revenue for return of retirement incentives and debt payment, the school system is expected to lose $1.96 million due to the decrease in the Federal Education Jobs bill, as well as an additional $453,662 in a reduction to state allotments.

Meanwhile, the state expenses, including employer retirement and hospitalization costs, are expected to increase by $596,206, and the local expenditures, which include debt payment, employer retirement and hospitalization costs, utility costs and rent for the central office location at the Stanly County Commons, are expected to increase by $734,581.

The finance committee has held three workshops to identify recommendations for spending reductions. During the workshops, members of the committee ranked each of the 34 ideas by order of importance. Though these ranks were initially averaged to create an order of importance list, final changes were made at Tuesday night’s meeting to reorder some of the recommendations so that those that had the most impact on personnel and classrooms appeared last on the list.

“I want to try my best to reduce things instead of people,” Cox said, adding that the list of reductions would be enforced by order of importance until the system reaches the $3.1 million threshold.

Finance Committee member Chris Whitley agreed.

“It makes perfect sense. Everybody will be touched in one way or another by the reductions but the things that don’t affect people should go higher on the list,” Whitley said.

The recommended spending reductions (and their projected savings), though not in their newly ranked order, include:

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