Stanly County Schools requests $31 million in funding for operational, capital funds

Published 4:26 pm Friday, April 19, 2024

Stanly County Schools has submitted a budget request to the county for local funding for operations and capital funds.

According to the agenda packet for Tuesday’s work session of the Board of Education, Stanly County Schools (SCS) is requesting $22.7 million in operating funding and $9.1 million in capital outlay funds.

Last fiscal year, SCS received just over $15 million for operations and $3.6 million in capital funds, along with $515,740 for six additional school resource officers.

The funding request for 2024-25 includes $825,000 for 12 new teaching positions, and $225,000 for two dean of students positions for Albemarle High School and Albemarle Middle School.

Positions at the SCS central offices for $1.454 million include the following: accountability director, chief academic officer, student data information director, student services director, safety and security director, maintenance director, chief technology officer assistant, transportation director, assistant finance officer, board members, director of community engagement and AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) coordinator-district.

SCS has requested $1.24 million for 23 student data manager positions and $698,500 for transportation, along with $1.04 million for 14 maintenance positions.

Athletics are also in the budget request from the school system, including an additional $169,427 for eight athletic directors and $204,473 in additional pay for coaches.

The request has additional supplemental money for principals and assistant principals ($253,000), and $2 million for substitute teachers, now that SCS no longer has a contract with ESS, whom provided substitutes for the schools.

“We should have savings on that,” Superintendent Dr. Jarrod Dennis said. “We are going to hire someone who, that’s all they will do, is sub.”

The request includes $1.125 million in classified staff pay scale increases to get the schools on the mandated state level, and $400,000 for advanced academic high school level teachers.

SCS also has requested $3.462 million to increase teachers’ supplements from 5% to 8%.

Board member Dustin Lisk called it a positive mandate from the Department of Public Instruction regarding the classified scale.

“This board and the committee for the last two budget seasons proposed to correct the classified pay scale,” he said. “That’s a must.”

Lisk said the board went from flat supplements to a percentage, and added the goal is to get to 8% to compete with neighboring counties like Cabarrus offering 12-13%.

Finance Director Terry Dudney said Anson County goes from 5% to 8% based on experience, and Montgomery offers a base supplement of $2,400 which can go up to $3,600 based on services.

Other line items include $836,000 for hard to staff incentive bonuses for two secondary schools and $400,000 for four secondary instructional coaches.

The request also has asked for $1.950 million for maintenance and repair of facilities and $1.950 million for utility and energy costs.

A teacher academy expense of $100,000, according to Board chair Carla Poplin, “helps teachers make good, effective lesson plans” and helps beginning teachers with classroom management concepts.

The request listed $875,000 for charter school payments based on the total amount of local funds allocated. The amount is approximately 3.85% of the total budget request.

SCS’s local funds requested also include $938,507 for 12 school resource officers if grant funds are not received.

In terms of capital funds requested, $1 million has been requested for student and staff devices, as well as $1 million for intercom repairs and replacements for middle schools.

The request includes $940,000 for furniture and equipment and $925,000 for tennis court and track repairs and replacements at Albemarle and North Stanly high schools, along with $675,000 for roofing repairs.

Other items included $1 million for HVAC repairs and replacement at Endy Elementary, along with an additional $1.2 million for the school’s driveway, and $500,000 for security cameras, metal detectors and vestibules.

The request includes $90,000 for SCS to rent the central office space from the county, which board members stated included SCS personnel having to make repairs. Board member Robin Whitaker said if the county is going to charge rent, “then we either need to give a lot of thought to relocating or purchasing a building. Not only do they charge us, we have to do all the upkeep.”

Lisk said the cost of the rent “sounds like a waste of money,” and added, “without this line item, if they gave us this money, we could own a building that is more suitable, not only for our staffing and technology, meetings and hold the value of the building.”

Moments later, Lisk moved to ask Dennis to find a new permanent location for the central offices. The motion passed unanimously.

An email sent from County Manager Andy Lucas shows SCS pays $89,291 per year and has been renting the space for at least the last 20 years. Lucas said the county’s Facilities Maintenance department “responds to service requests and makes repairs.”


About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. 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 won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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