Board of Education discusses questionable books

The Moore County Board of Education Monday discussed the impact of the county’s proposed fiscal year 2019-2020 budget on school operations. The projected budget calls for an increase of $850,000 for operating costs and $739,000 in  one time operational expenses for the new McDeeds Creek Elementary School, which opens in August.

The additional funding will allow for the hiring of two new teachers to ensure classroom size compliance, funding to provide for an estimated additional 75 charter school students, as well as providing state-mandated salary increases to certified and classified staff.

What the budget will not provide for is a plethora of deferred items the school board requested funding for including:

salary step increases for certified staff;

restoration of teaching and support positions that have been eliminated over the last few years, which includes IT, media staff and counselors;

and deferred maintenance and infrastructure improvements.

The proposed budget leaves unfunded needs (from the school board’s requested budget) of $2.9 million. The proposed budget calls for an increase over last year’s budgeted local expenses of 2.74 percent.

As the slide below shows, school budgets have increased three of the previous four years with the county funding for schools rising from $27.1 million in 2015 to a projected $31.8 million for the fiscal year 2020. Addressing the board, Moore County Schools Superintendent Dr. Bob Grimesey stated “We will need to defer and try against next year.”

Photo courtesy of Moore County Schools.

School Board Vice-Chairman Libby Carter addressed Moore County Commissioner Louise Gregory, who was attending the school board meeting, by saying, “Obviously, the proposed budget is not adequate to truly keep our Moore County Schools at the level of excellence that is deserved.”

The school district does have a fund balance of slightly over $2 million, but those funds are not available for operational expenses.

The Moore County Commissioners are scheduled to take final action on the budget at their regular meeting June 18. The meeting will be preceded by a public hearing to allow citizens to voice their thoughts on the budget. By state law, the budget must be enacted by the end of June.

To view MCS’ Powerpoint: Impact of Proposed County Budget on Moore County Schools FY 2019-2020 Budget, please click here.

~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Local News/Government Reporter Chris Prentice.           Sandhills_Sentinel
   Contact him at [email protected] or (910) 639-9303.

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