10/02/13 — School board gets first look at proposed budget

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School board gets first look at proposed budget

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on October 2, 2013 1:46 PM

The Wayne County Board of Education held a called meeting Tuesday afternoon to discuss the 2013-14 uniform budget, scheduled to be voted on at the regular meeting next week.

The session gave the full board additional time to review the revenue and expenditures for the district, Schools Superintendent Dr. Steven Taylor said.

The proposed $169.8 million budget is nearly $30 million less than the previous year, when it was $196.4 million, said Nan Barwick, assistant superintendent for fiscal services. Part of the reduction can be attributed to the construction projects that have since been completed and several federal grants that have expired, she said.

The budget format followed is pretty standard, Mrs. Barwick said, handed down by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. The main categories are local, state and federal funding, capital outlay, child nutrition and restricted local funding.

The local county appropriations piece proposed is $18.6 million. The county also contributes $578,000 for Edgewood Community Developmental School, $110,000 for the Wee Wings preschool program to fund teachers and assistants, and an estimated $170,000 for the WISH school-based health program, Mrs. Barwick said.

She broke down how expenditures for the district budget are divided -- an estimated 78 percent of the funding is for personnel, 12 percent for supplies and materials, 8 percent for services and the remainder for capital outlay.

State cuts and reversions are also contributing factors, she said.

"The biggest hit this year was the teacher assistant reduction that we have faced," Mrs. Barwick said.

The district is also still awaiting funding for 13 teachers in the VIF, or Visiting International Faculty, program.

Board member Dr. Dwight Cannon suggested the board is "in limbo" waiting on funding approval from the county commission.

"That will be separate and apart from what we have going on that," Mrs. Barwick replied, explaining that aspect will pertain more to the capital side of things and in the operating side of the budget.

Future construction projects and transfers of money from half-cent sales tax and lottery funds will be discussed later.

No vote was taken at the work session. The budget will be on the agenda for Monday night's meeting.

But that is essentially a "formality," Mrs. Barwick said.

"This has to be the approved document on file there for a budget," she said. "It can be amended, it can be adopted, it can be changed. It requires a budget amendment but it can be done any time."