The meeting was preceded by the required second reading of the budget proposed by Chief Financial Officer Lisa Dickerson. The first reading was Tuesday, Sept. 3, during a board work session.
The board approved a general fund budget of revenues and expenditures both equaling $16,845,862.
The special revenue budget will operate at a deficit of $89,161 because the school district has not received word on how much Title VI federal funding it will receive, and the child nutrition program will operate at a deficit because the State Department of Education recommends it only keep three months operating costs or less. That program has over three months operating costs at the moment.
The school district will keep the balance of one month’s operating cost at $1.9 million, which is also required by the state.
State revenues make up 73 percent of the budget and local revenues make up 26 percent. Dickerson said she still is anticipating the state to announce proration for the next fiscal year to be in the 8 percent range which equals approximately $1 million for the school district.
There were some changes from the first budget with stimulus funds revenue down to $567,972 from $607,447 because some of the stimulus funds were budgeted for the current fiscal year.
Also, salary and wages for K-6 teachers were increased to $3,186,877 from the $2,842,906 listed at the first budget hearing. Other changes were minor or corrections.
In other business, the board approved Superintendent Renee Riggins’s personnel recommendations including:
• The hiring of David Ball as ninth grade assistant football coach at Sylacauga High to be totally funded by the Sylacauga High School Athletic Department.
• The hiring of Nicole Mitchell as flag and majorette sponsor for Sylacauga High.
• The hiring of Rodricus Thomas as boys basketball coach at Nichols-Lawson Middle School.
• The hiring of Sean Stevens as systemwide instructional technology facilitator.
• The hiring of Nina Seaman as systemwide instructional technology facilitator.
• The resignation of Joel Jones as assistant basketball coach at Sylacauga High.
Board member Steve Marlowe expressed concern that one of the people hired had already been working in the job for over a month. He did not specify which new hire it was.
“It’s troubling to me that we have people who are working a job prior to getting board approval. We’re already obligated, I think, to pay this individual, but I think it’s incumbent upon us as board members and administrators that we follow the process of how we’re going to hire people,” Marlowe said.
Riggins said the issue had been addressed in an administrative meeting, and it should not happen again.
Marlowe added, “I’m glad we have the person involved. I think it’s a great addition to the system. It’s not a reflection on the employee, but we’ve got to fix the process, and we’ve got to make sure it never happens again.”
The board approved the purchase of two “Roast-n-Hold” convection ovens at a cost of $7,663 each ($15,326 total) from Dixie Store Fixtures which submitted the low bid. These oven cabinets will be used at Sylacauga High to supplement cooking capacity on site during construction.
After construction is completed, they will be used in the new kitchen instead of having to purchase vented convection ovens. The use of the equipment has been approved by the Talladega County Health inspector.
Also, the board approved the Sylacauga City Schools Employee Handbook for the 2009-2010 school year. Riggins said all athletic supplements listed are accurate in terms of salary, title and other specifics involving those jobs, when Marlowe asked about it.
Board Chairwoman Tracey Allen closed the meeting by passing along the board’s thoughts and prayers to the family of Sylacauga High assistant football coach John Mitchell after he died in a weekend car accident.