The financial plan projects total revenues of $21 million and total expenditures of $26.6 million for the year. The total beginning balance is set at $12.9 million, and the ending fund balance is $4.6 million – the difference largely stemming from ongoing, planned capital projects that account for $8.2 million in excess expenditures.
The funds break down as follows:
O General fund is expected to break even, with revenues and expenses totaling about $16.6 million. The fund balance will start and end the year at $1.85 million. About 76.6 percent of expenses will go toward instructional services and support, 8.2 percent to operations and maintenance, and the remainder to auxiliary services, administrative and other expenses.
O Governmental special revenue funds, which include federal programs and child nutrition, start at $991,355 and end the year at $851,590. About $3.4 million is estimated for revenues and $3.9 for expenses. New child nutrition equipment accounts for the overage in expenses.
O Capital projects fund, with a beginning balance of $10 million, should garner revenues of about $790,000 compared to $9 million in expenditures, with $1.8 million remaining in the fund at the end of the year. About $8.9 million will be spent on Sylacauga High School renovations.
O Fiduciary expendable trust fund, encompassing nonpublic funds such as boosters and scholarships, will grow from about $85,000 to $110,500.
“We anticipate at least breaking even (in the general fund),” Chief Finance Officer Lisa Dickerson said at a budget hearing preceding the meeting. “Hopefully by the end of the year, we will actually have more revenues than expenditures, but only time will tell on that. We were very conservative in our estimates.”
Superintendent Todd Freeman said after the meeting that he feels good about this year’s budget.
“We were able to produce a budget with revenues and expenditures that are even using conservative revenue figures based on local revenues,” he said. “We wanted to make sure it was conservatively done, and also meets the needs of our schools, and I think that was accomplished. I want to see us move into positive revenues to build reserves, and that will come with the strategic planning we are going to be doing, but for what we have today, I’m comfortable with it.”
During the meeting, the board also approved a $16,000 contract with Tuscaloosa-based Burke Enterprises, LLC, to facilitate strategic planning for the district. Freeman said they aim to formulate a five-year plan. The cost of the contract will be supported by state funding, he said.
In addition, the BOE approved a state-mandated 2 percent salary increase for employees effective in October. Dickerson said the raise, along with a mandated 1 percent retirement increase, will add $420,000 to instructional expenses.
In other business, the board:
O Approved employment of: Pinecrest Elementary third-grade teacher Crystal Powell, effective Sept. 16; and student workers Tony Nelson, Michael White, Bethany Maness and Jessie Kelly, effective Sept. 11. Student workers work for about 90 minutes on a rotating schedule of either two or three days a week.
O Approved leaves of absence for Lisa Fuller and Lisa Reaves, effective intermittently from Sept. 11 through Dec. 20.
O Heard a presentation about strategic planning services from John Osborn of Burke Enterprises.
O Approved a contract with Cheaha Mental Health to cater daily lunches for three of its programs effective Oct. 1 to Sept. 20, 2014.
O Approved a contract with SAFE Family Services for the Barbara Bush Literacy Foundation effective Sept. 11 through May 31, 2014. The contract provides breakfast and lunch for parents participating in the program at Indian Valley Elementary School.
The next regular board meeting is Sept. 24 at 5:30 p.m. at the Central Office.