Local funds help budget

Published 4:15 am Monday, July 30, 2007

By By Kerry Whipple Bean – publisher
The Brewton City School system's budget increases for employee insurance, retirement benefits and a teacher pay raise were far more than the state's increase in appropriation this year, Superintendent Lynn Smith told school board members Thursday.
But with enrollment down at the elementary school and fewer teachers needed, the school system avoided a financial crunch, Smith said during the first of two budget hearings before the board's deadline to approve the budget next month.
Overall, the school system lost funding for 3.38 teacher units, most of those at the elementary school level.
Local money pays for 5.43 teacher units, plus some supplemental funding for an assistant principal and counselor at Brewton Elementary, a reading coach at Brewton Middle School and an assistant principal at T.R. Miller High School.
The total increase in health insurance and retirement benefits was $225,000 for the coming year, while the state's increase in funding was about $271,887, Smith said. And the school system also had to fund state-mandated 7-percent teacher and employee pay raises this year.
Meanwhile, the revenue the school system receives from a 10-mill tax passed in 2003 has increased from about $700,000 in 2004 - the first year it was assessed - to an expected $950,000 in 2008.

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