Board approves budget

Published 8:44 am Sunday, August 13, 2006

By By Kerry Whipple Bean – publisher
Escambia County School Board members passed a &#8220conservative” 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 &#8220vital to our education system,” she said, noting the district's success in the past year on No Child Left Behind goals.
&#8220We're very proud of our schools,” Madden said. &#8220It'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.