City schools: Proration planned for, but not expected this year

Published 8:43 am Wednesday, August 17, 2011

With no mention of proration for the upcoming fiscal year, the Brewton City Board of Education approved the budget for FY 2012 during Monday’s meeting of the board.
Lynn Smith, superintendent for the Brewton City School System, said the budget should be sufficient — even if proration is implemented.
“Nobody has mentioned a chance of proration for next year,” Smith told the board. “But, I also think you have to plan for it just in case.”
With a total budget of just under $6.5 million, Smith said the budget isn’t as dismal as might have been expected.
“We’re not as bad off as we could be,” Smith said. “Budget wise, it looks better than we expected. We’ve just made sure that we have the funds to cover ourselves so we can have one month of operation expenses in case of emergencies.”
Those emergencies could come in the way of proration — although board members are hoping the call doesn’t come.
“We’ll just have to see what happens,” Smith said. “We are just planning ahead as much as possible with this budget. We have shown a little bit of growth, but I’m going to remain on the conservative side for a while.”
In the budget, just under $4 million of the funds on the table will be used for teacher salaries with another $1.3 million used for benefits. Additional funds are divided among classroom instruction support at just over $1.2 million and nearly $11,000 for teacher materials and supplies.
Smith said teachers would be given an account with funds available for purchase of materials as they see a need.
“Each teacher will receive $134.78 to spend on materials or supplies they need for their classroom,” Smith said. “Last year Sen. Marc Keahey brought a check to the school for $1,000 and asked that the money be used by the teachers themselves. That money will be divided equally among the teachers at the school. It is also our plan to give each school $3,000 to be used for copiers, paper — just whatever they need.”
Of the $6,435,122 budget for the 2012 fiscal year, $5,832,942 will come from state allocations with the remaining $602,180 coming from local funds.
For the 2012 year, the system has earned 68.38 teacher units; three principal units, one assistant principal unit, 2.5 counselor units and 3.75 librarian units.
Also during Monday’s meeting the Board:
• Approved a change in the school admission policy as it pertains to out-of-district students. The new policy indicates that a student must show proof of property ownership and residency of a fixed personal dwelling place with a custodial parent. Additional information concerning the guidelines in the policy is available at schools and the main school board office.
• Approved the annual membership dues for School Superintendents of Alabama.
• Approved an agreement with the Escambia-Brewton Career Technical Center Agreement. Smith explained that Brewton City School students make up 24 percent of the total population of students attending the center. The cost to provide 24 percent of funding for the center will take $166,030 for fiscal year 2012. Smith also said the amount is an increase in the previous years funding amount, however a decrease in funding requests was seen two years ago. The cost for the upcoming year is in line with figures from EBCTC.

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