Board approves budget
Published 8:44 am Sunday, August 13, 2006
By By Kerry Whipple Bean – publisher
Escambia County School Board members passed a “conservative” budget Thursday night - but business manager Julie Madden said the county's two-year-old tax referendum has helped boost the district's ability to teach students.
The board approved a $39.5 million budget that will provide a $2.8 million fund balance at the end of the fiscal year. But Madden said she budgeted conservatively for several revenue categories, including the oil and gas severance taxes and the 10-mill tax revenue.
The majority of the school district's budget goes to instructional services - teachers and aides. Escambia County is able to fund its teacher units mainly through state funding.
During a public hearing before the board's official meeting, Madden reminded board members that county voters will go to the polls Sept. 12 to decide whether to renew a 4-mill tax for schools. Renewing the tax is “vital to our education system,” she said, noting the district's success in the past year on No Child Left Behind goals.
“We're very proud of our schools,” Madden said. “It's a wonderful way to start the school year.”
This year's budget also includes a 5 percent state-mandated teacher pay raise, which the school district also formally approved Thursday.