At the final budget hearing on Aug. 21, custodian of funds Robin Cunningham announced that the school system is in very good financial shape for fiscal year 2002, which stretches from Oct. 1, 2001 to Sept. 30, 2002. Despite the devastation of proration, she says the system is lucky to have plentiful reserve funds to help. However, these funds will have diminished drastically by the next year’s budget hearings.
Total expenditures for the year are estimated at $23,372,126 with revenue falling short at $22,623,342. The remaining $748,784 will have to come from reserved funds.
Currently, the system has $2.7 million in reserve. By FY03, that amount is expected to dwindle down to $1.1 million. Supt. Kay Davis is expecting good news at the special legislative session this week, although she fears that if proration doesn’t end the effects will be detrimental in FY03.
“We feel like we’re going to get some good news on the 28th in the special session,” said Davis. “Robin got word from Montgomery this past week that they are looking at our finances and we’re going to be okay this year but by FY2003 it’s going to be devastating to us because we will have used up all of our reserves—unless something happens. We must get a lot of people going to Montgomery and talking to the people down there.”
As of now, building projects such as the new Centre Middle School have been set back two years.
At the end of the budget discussion, Dr. Trina Fortner and Linda Prater approached the board to discuss another monetary issue. Fortner and Prater are both system supervisors. Fortner handles special education and Prater supervises the Child Nutrition Program. Both women also supervise several other part-time programs, such as attendance and the new pre-K program. Even though they work year-round, both are both paid teacher’s salaries.
“About a year ago, Mrs. Prater and I and another supervisor got together and started doing comparisons of salaries,” said Fortner. “We gathered a lot of imformation from systems that surround us and our sister-system Bibb County and looked at some of the salaries other superivisors are making.”
Fortner passed out packets to the board members containing their comparison studies and their proposal.
“On average, not even taking into consideration degrees and the number of jobs that we are responsible for, supervisors in other counties basically make $10,000 more than we do and only handle one job,” Fortner continued. “We don’t want to get into all the small details, but you can see that they are making $10,000 more just on an average for doing one program where we are doing five or six programs and making teacher pay with no supplements.”
Fortner pointed out that since they supervise federal programs, the extra money they are asking for can come from federal funds which are not affected by proration.
“We’re not looking for any astronomical numbers and we’re not looking for anything to come out of the local budget or general funds. We’ve arranged this proposal where it can come out of federal funds. We’ve met with Robin (Cunningham) and the money is there. It’s not going to be any cost that would affect teacher layoffs or teacher supplies or anything like that.”
The board agreed to take to proposal into consideration and announce a decision at a later date.
After an hour-long executive session to discuss good name and character, the board approved motions on with the following business.
• accepted the resignation of David Owen, P. E. teacher and assistant principal at CMS effective Aug. 18.
• placed Molly Barnes as pre-kindergarten teacher pending SDE certification and background check.
• placed Rhonda Blanchard as gifted teacher.
• tabled placement of Wanda Thompson as CNP manager.
• approved equalizing Spring Garden, Centre Middle and Cherokee County High lunchroom managers to eight-hours per day to be paid by CNP funds.
• approved increasing hours of custodial assistant at Gaylesville from four to seven with local funds paying five hours and CNP paying two.
• approved the technology plan.
• approved transfer of CMS and CCHS students to Spring Garden due to hardship.
• gave Davis authority to post P. E. teacher position at Center Middle and authority to make a temprorary placement pending board approval at Sept. 4 meeting.
• gave Davis authority to post assistant principal positions at CMS and Gaylesville to be assigned to teachers currently teaching at said schools.
• agreed to amend the superintendent’s resolution to include the board paying her professional organization membership dues (AEA, etc.).
• announced schedule for up-coming board meetings at area schools. The schedule is as follows: Sept. 4 at Gayesville, Sept. 18 at Sand Rock, Oct. 1 (Monday) at Cedar Bluff, Oct. 16 at CES, Nov. 6 at CCHS, Nov. 20 at CMS and the final meeting for the year Dec. 4 at Spring Garden. All meetings will begin at 6 p.m