The Union Recorder

April 25, 2013

School board meets to discuss budget

Vaishali Patel
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — The Baldwin County Board of Education projects to have $180,000 in expenditures more than revenues going into the fiscal year 2014 budget. The tentative revenue budget is $39.2 million and preliminary expenditure budget is $39.4 million as of Wednesday’s called school board meeting.

“There’s good news for us for FY14. We’ve had some FTE (Full-Time Equivalent) growth so we have more funding. Austerity reduction has gone down a little bit, but that’s because the state is calculating health insurance differently for personnel; it’s now based on how many people take insurance and because of that we lost $400,000 in funding,” said Saranna Charping, chief financial officer for the public school system. “Local property taxes remain flat with no growth. We’re anticipating property tax revenue to remain the same for FY14 as it was for FY13.”

One of the purposes for the meeting was to provide school board members an up-to-date status of the budget prior to approving a tentative budget for the coming academic year.

“I was prepared to look at a very grim forecast, but I feel very comfortable with this budget,” Board Chair John Noah Jackson said after the discussion and update.

The school system projected to go into the fund balance by almost $2 million at the first of the year. Charping said adjustments were made this school year to help reduce that amount.

“We expected to go into the fund balance for FY13, but due to an increase in millage rate, some personnel positions we have not filled, and utilities and different repairs coming under budget, we’re in much better shape,” Charping said. “We think we may go into the fund balance $500,000 for FY13 so we will have a fund balance of around $7 million. In FY14, we’ll have to go $180,000 based on the budget now.”

State revenue is projected to increase though federal funding is likely to decrease next year.

“We will have increase in state funding due to enrollment growth. We’ve anticipated getting $22.3 million from state sources,” Charping said. “Federal budgets will probably decrease due to all sequestration ... but right now I think we will be OK with those programs for FY14.”

The school board is slated to adopt a tentative budget for FY14 during the regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 14. After being advertised in The Union-Recorder for two weeks, the board will then approve a final budget.

“If we can’t meet this budget then it’s going to come out of the fund balance,” Charping said. “We have to have a budget adopted by June 30. If we don’t then we will have to do a spending resolution.”

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