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Escambia County School Board approves budget

By By MICHELE GERLACH Publisher
The Escambia County Board of Education Thursday approved a $33.7 million budget for the 2004-05 year that restores many of the teaching units lost in recent years to proration, thanks to the new 10 mill ad valorem tax approved by county voters last December.
Superintendent Melvin "Buck" Powell estimates it will take three years to get the system totally "on its feet" from the years of tight budgets and proration it recently has endured.
Choose Children advisory committees in Brewton, Atmore and Flomaton and comprised of teachers, administrators, parents and business leaders in each community, helped determine what was needed at each school.
The $33.7 million budget includes federal, state and local revenues. Of those, 62.8 percent come from the state; 15.3 percent from the federal government; 21.7 from local taxes; and 0.2 percent from other sources.
The budget approved this week includes the following additions at each school:
Neal High School - additional teacher units for girls physical education/health; history; agri-science; and part-time science.
Neal Middle School - additional teacher units for reading specialist and federally funded class-size reduction teacher.
Neal Elementary - additional teacher units for reading specialist and federally funded CSR teacher.
Flomaton High School - additional agri-science teacher.
Pollard-McCall Junior High - additional federally-funded special education teacher.
Huxford Elementary School - special education teacher.
Escambia County Middle - two additional teacher units for class-size reduction.
Escambia County High School - additional teacher units for agri-science, math and resource teacher.
The budget also includes six computer labs with 20 computers each. Last year's budget also funded six new labs with 20 computers each. In addition, each high school will receive $5,000 for new band instruments.
Members of the Brewton area Choose Children Committee included Linda Williamson, Margie Woods, Wayne Howard, Kenneth Brazile, Kanetra Germany, Gwynne Shell, Gayle Fountain, James Stallworth, Candi Smith, David Elliott, Joel Brister, Debbie McDonald, Leon Hartley, Alison Nalty, Briana Hunt, Ricky Elliott, Barbara McCreary, and Ashley Fore.
Members of the Flomaton area Choose Children Committee included Susan Kirk, Clemente Brooks, Alisa Hart, Jo Nolin, Drenia White, Lori Brown, April Lambeth, Danny White, Joe Thomas, Frankie Samuel, Gail Stokes, Diane Curran, Bobby Simpson, Tina Price, Ronnie Hammond, Leroy Steele, Becky Conrad, Ronnie Norwood, Melissa Johnson, Debra Arant, Renee Johnson, Lisa Newton, Jerry Lloyd, Jason Jackson, Greg Findley, Steven Creamer and Bill Morgan.
Members of the Atmore area Choose Children Committee included Crystal Choates, Mack Henderson, Carl Railey, Deborah Arguilez, Priscilla Lauray, Daniel McGhee, Edie Jackson, Rob Faircloth, Shirley Williams, Sheilo Faircloth, Mary Bradley, Felicia Lyles, Beth Drew, Harold Dailey, Louie Turner, Nate Dennis, Mavis Torrence, the Rev. Willie Hawthorne, Debbie Hester, Demetrie Payne, David Nolin, Herbert Payne, Melvin Middleton, Priscilla Wilder, Jerry Smith, Betty Warren and Cheyenne Leachman.