BY DAVID FISHER
DRESDEN (June 16) — The budget for FY 2020-2021 was the main item on the agenda during a called meeting of the Weakley County School Board on Tuesday, June 16.
After reviewing revenues and expenditures in the various funds, school board members unanimously approved the budget for the next fiscal year.
The public had the option of attending the meeting in person or virtually over the internet.
The budget is made up of the General Purpose School Fund, Federal Projects School Fund, and School Nutrition Fund.
According to Director of Weakley County Schools Randy Frazier, the General Purpose School Fund budget for FY 2020-2021 estimates $32,513,787 in revenues and $32,874,955 in expenditures. The budget projects expenditures will exceed revenues by $361,168.
Frazier stated there are step salary increases for certified staff throughout the budget for FY 2020-2021.
There are no salary increases in the budget for non-certified staff. However, the board agreed to try to increase salaries and perhaps give these employees a bonus later in the year, if funds are available.
Frazier noted the number of teachers at the various schools is based on student enrollment, and since these numbers have changed, there will be a few adjustments as follows: Alternative School = same; Dresden Elementary = plus one; Dresden Middle = minus one; Dresden High = same; Gleason School = minus one; Greenfield School = plus one; Martin Primary = minus two; Martin Elementary = same; Martin Middle = plus one; Westview High School = same; and Sharon School = same. Additionally, three educational assistants will be eliminated from the budget, and one Special Education position is added.
Frazier listed some of the highpoints in the General Purpose School Fund budget as follows:
Medical insurance rates increased 2.0 percent.
The contract with Carroll Academy amounts to $35,000.
Liability insurance is reduced by $136,591. An environmental terrorism three-year plan costs $142,344, but will not need to be renewed until FY 2022-2023.
The UTM football field usage contract for Westview games is $27,500.
Building / contents insurance is increasing $49,858 (29 percent).
Debt service totals $424,780.
A TIF Grant payment amounts to $20,652.
The school is purchasing four propane school buses at a cost of $178,000. This is only one-half of the total cost for the buses, which amounts to $356,000. The remaining $178,000 is paid through a 50/50 grant. “We’ll be eligible in the next year to 18 months to purchase another four buses on a 50/50 grant,” Frazier said. “Out of a fleet of 41 buses, the school system now has seven propane buses. They’re awesome. We’re very pleased with them.”
A realignment of the budget in the General Purpose School Fund transfers $5,000 from Coordinated School Health to Greenfield School for playground equipment.
The Federal Projects School Fund, which involves federal dollars and no local monies, was also approved. This fund provides a little over $2 million in federal funding.
The School Nutrition Fund budget projects revenues amounting to $2,526,915 and expenditures of $2,526,905. The budget estimates revenues will exceed expenditures by $10. The fund balance by June 30, 2021 is estimated to be $598,696. This fund is basically self-supporting with paying customers paying for most of the costs. A little less than $20,000 in local tax money is allocated to the food nutrition budget. Federal reimbursements pay the remaining costs associated with the School Nutrition Fund.
A resolution reallocating funds for additional expenditures in payroll and supplies, as a result of the extended feeding programs of Weakley County School Nutrition, was approved by unanimous vote. The budget resolution adds $44,344 in revenues to USDA commodities and $420,543 to cover other expenses.
The board also approved budget resolutions and transfers for the current fiscal year ending June 30, 2020. Those areas of the budget with excess funds are transferred into those with shortfalls.
In announcements, Frazier informed board members one of the guests at Dresden High School’s graduation ceremony tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. He stated Principal Chuck West personally informed the families of those in attendance concerning the matter and advised them to consult with their physician and be tested if they exhibit any of the symptoms of the virus.
The Weakley County Commission will discuss the school department’s budget when it meets Tuesday, June 30.
BY DAVID FISHER