Board awaits final version of budget from Legislature

First Posted: 3/17/2009

With the governor releasing her version of the budget, speculations have begun for the coming fiscal year for the Mount Airy City School System.
There is still a great deal of information in the air regarding the budget as the final version will not be available until both the N.C. Senate and House have passed their own versions.
One of the disturbing factors in Gov. Bev Perdues budget is the setting aside of $100 million in public school capital funding. The hope is that setting aside that money, which has not been taken from any funds at this point, will not affect any ongoing capital projects.
Well just have to follow that, said Dr. Darrin Hartness, superintendent.
There is also a possible flexible reduction in the governors version of the budget for $144 million. That would amount to around $159,000 from Mount Airy City Schools. She did not specify where that money should come from, but asked that it not directly affect classrooms.
We would rather the legislature make those tough choices, said Hartness, noting that if that were the case, the school system could pursue the use of federal stimulus funds and federal stabilization funds to fill in those cuts.
Perdue did not mention those funds in her budget as there are still questions as to where and how those funds can be spent.
Its a difficult time to build a budget, said Hartness. We are going to build a budget based on a three- to five-percent reduction, but then when the final budget comes out, we will have to go back and adjust.
Hartness hopes to have a budget prepared for the Surry County Board of Commissioners April meeting.
Vickie Cameron, executive director of curriculum and instruction, informed the board that Title One has received an additional $45,000. Title One consists of supplemental federal funds provided to schools with the highest student concentrations of poverty in an effort to meet school educational goals.
In other news at Tuesdays meeting, it was reported that school administrators met with three area physicians at Mount Airy High School Monday night to discuss a change in the way physicals are performed for school athletes. Under the new process, the schools will no longer offer mass physicals at the schools. Students will have to see a physician in an office visit in order to have their physical forms completed. Officials will work with students who do not have a primary care physician or who do not have insurance to assure they can still be athletes at the schools.
In other actions:
– The school system is now using the ConnectEd automated phone system to inform parents of absences and tardies for their students.
– The board approved six policies from the 3,000 series. These policies are available on the school systems Web site for anyone interested in reading them. This group of policies simply replaced an existing group of policies with no major modifications.
– The school board approved a field trip for students in the Mount Airy High School German Club to travel to Germany in April 2010. With the approval, the students can begin to plan the itinerary and research any possible fundraising ideas.
– School board members recognized the accomplishments of a group of fifth graders from J.J. Jones Intermediate School who competed in the National Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl and placed 15th in the nation.
– School board members recognized Jill Holder, Carol Joyce, Lisa Easter and Dustin York, employees at B.H. Tharrington Primary School, as well as Paul Watson, a parent, for helping to save a woman whose house caught on fire near the school.
Contact Morgan Wall at [email protected] or 719-1929.

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