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Stanly Board of Education approves budget

On Thursday evening, the Stanly County School Board conducted a special meeting at its offices at Stanly Commons.

The two major items on the agenda were the approval of budget amendments for the current year and the proposed 2018-19 budget.

Current Budget

Before the end of the current budget cycle in June, the Board of Education approved a number of amendments to it.

The board approved an increase of $1,018 in non-contributory employee benefits in the first amendment passed.

In the second amendment, money was taken from school leadership, operational support and co-curricular services and moved dollar for dollar to other areas. Those codes included special population support and regular instructional services while adding $610 to nutrition services and $608 to Relay for Life.

Money was also reallocated in an amendment totaling $327,647 from various accounts into regular curricular and school based support services.

A total of $184,617 was moved from nutrition services to payments to other governmental units as well.

Finally, the budget was increased $10,836 for alternative programs and services and an indirect cost.

The current budget for 2017-18 increased overall to $5,320,616.13.

All of the budget amendments passed unanimously.

Proposed budget

Stanly County Schools Chief Financial Officer Nancy Hatley presented the board with the proposed budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year.

Hatley said the capital submitted by the school board to the Stanly Board of Commissioners was more than the county allocated.

“If we move forward with the items we feel are needed for our capital budget, even though aren’t supported full by the dollars in the county, we can do these but we would have to appropriate fund balance,” Hatley said. Those items, she added, would be included in a future resolution.

SCS Superintendent Jeff James said the carryover in fund balance from last year is approximately $1.4 million to $1.5 million. With current appropriations, the balance should be around $2.5 million.

James said SCS will receive about half of that fund balance in the first three months per an agreement with the county “to pay for things that are needed.”

Hatley said the board had appropriated money from fund balance this year. When asked by board member Vicky Watson how much SCS went over, Hatley said around $400,000.

James said the overage was due to updating technology and that SCS “does not need to keep fund balance if spent on technology. As long as we have about $500,000 to $600,000, we’re in good position.”

Hatley also said regarding the local budget the school board had requested more money than the county gave. The school board asked for $10,989,738 in county appropriation and will receive approximately $10,436,000, a difference of around $500,000.

“I need some direction from you all. The budget that the finance committee then the board approved to send to the county, I can move forward on that. Again, I’ll have to appropriate from fund balance for local current expense or I can bring that local budget back to you all and make recommendations for cuts,” Hatley said.

James recommended the school board should re-examine the budget for possible cuts, saying: “I’m really trying to build us a fund balance so we can work on teacher supplements if we are in a position to do so.”

Hatley said, “If I need to look at cuts, I can start looking at that.”

Chairman Melvin Poole said to Hatley, “You can go through that and give us some recommendations. We can see what we can fly with.”

New Toshiba Contract

The board approved a new contract with Toshiba for office services like copiers after the current agreement was slated to run out June 30.

James said technology director Shawn Britt and Hatley have both worked with Toshiba in the past.

“You may get some calls from schools, so we need your support. An individual teacher does not need a copier in their room at all,” James said about new changes to the contract. He noted 28 copiers were located in West Stanly High School alone which “costs us a lot.”

In the new contract, black and white copying is included, Hatley said, but color copying will cost money. SCS will be billed quarterly based on the average daily membership numbers.

“That will give us some cost savings…instead of paying by a flat rate,” Hatley said.

Prompted by a question from board member Ryan McIntyre, codes can be installed to limit the number of color copies made.

James said spreadsheets created once a month and given to principals showed an inverse relationship between copies and grades.

“The more copies a teacher runs, the lower the grades went,” James said.

Contact Charles Curcio at charles.curcio@stanlynewspress.com, 704-983-1361 or via Twitter (@charles_curcio).

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio was the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press from 1999-2001 and has currently served in the same capacity since 2008. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also been honored twice by the North Carolina Press Association.

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