Board approves final budget for school year

First Posted: 9/8/2009

DOBSON The Surry County Board of Education approved a budget for the 2009-10 fiscal year at Tuesday nights meeting.
Its hot off the press, said Wanda Mitchell, finance officer, as she passed the information out to board members.
The Board of County Commissioners gave us exactly what we requested, said Dr. Ashley Hinson, superintendent, of the request that the commissioners provide the same dollar amount of funding as last year, instead of basing the funding on a per-students formula.
In the final current expense budget, the school system lost about $3,440,000 in state funding, about seven percent of the state budget. However, it received a $1,436,234 allocation from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for Title I funds of which about half was used, $1,822,524 from the ARRA-IDEA Title VIB funds of which half was used and $2,389,228 in ARRA-Education Stabilization funds.
Due to the moving of some positions to other areas and the number of resignations and retirements, only three regular classroom teachers are funded from local current expense funds. The other teachers salaries are being paid through state and federal funding sources.
One of the big changes this year is that there are no state funds for non-instructional support, including clerical, custodians and substitutes, no state staff development funds and no state improving student accountability funds. Non-instructional positions are being funded through the ARRA-Education Stabilization fund.
Also this year, the technology and athletic grants money from the county were allocated to the 1:1 laptop initiative in the amount of $154,893.
The only changes in the capital outlay budget are the loss of $125,000 for painting, $125,000 for boilers and $750,000 for roofing.
The Rural Low Income Schools grant will bring $223,000 to the school system. Of that, $88,000 is planned for use for staff development, which was cut by the state budget.
In other business, the board approved looking into a lease option with COECO for printers. The lease would provide printers for all of the schools in the district and would provide a more efficient and cost-saving service. It would provide every classroom with a black and white Kyocera printer and teachers would have access to a color printer.
A version of this lease was tested at Meadowview Middle School last year and was deemed a success.
If they can print in the classrooms at a better quality, they will use the Xerox less, said Jill Reinhardt, director of CTE/technology.
With the roll out of the first set of laptops getting closer for the 1:1 laptop initiative, the board approved a draft of the student/parent laptop agreement and handbook that parents and students will be required to sign in order to receive a computer.
Were coming down to the wire, but were going to be ready, said Reinhardt.
The handbook includes a section on paying for insurance for basic repairs and replacements. The suggested insurance cost for students is $27. However, the school system is ready to work with families who may not be able to afford this. If the laptop is reported stolen to the sheriffs office, the student would be responsible for the $150 deductible to replace it.
Gentry Middle Schools seventh graders will be the first group to receive laptops which will come later this month.
The English as a Second Language program was also revamped for this school year. The program has a new curriculum as well as new goals and objectives.
Im really very excited about having this ESL plan in place, said Brenda Whitaker, federal programs director.
In other items:
The YVEDDI transportation contract was reapproved for another year allowing YVEDDI to provide transport to students as needed.
Two personal transportation contracts were approved to allow parents to transport students when necessary.
The standard agreement for the exceptional childrens program with Barium Springs Childrens Center was approved with no changes from previous years.
The new forms for random drug testing have been sent to parents and Workforce Carolina is ready to begin testing as soon as the information is collected and entered into the database.
Assistant Superintendents Chuck Graham and Pat Widdowson spoke to the board about the new teacher evaluation instruments that will be used this year. These evaluations look at teachers as compared to themselves rather than to other teachers. This means that teachers will be challenged more to receive high evaluations.
Because of Franklin Elementary Schools success with the Positive Behavior Support system, PBS trainers worked with the other schools in the system over the summer to help them implement PBS plans as well.
The surplus auction for supplies used by the school system is set for Oct. 17 at 8 a.m. with a rain date set for Oct. 24.
The installation of a sound system at East Surry High School was officially approved by the board after it was purchased by Ken Lowe for the soccer/football stadium.
Contact Morgan Wall at [email protected] or 719-1929.

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