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School Board Expects Cuts In Coming Year

School Board Trustees (from left) Casey Washington, Dr. Steve Edwards, and Pierce Epes listen as District Business Manager Randy Goodwin (back to camera) outlines state funding for the next school year.

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – The school district will receive about $46,000 less from the state for the upcoming school year in spite of claims of “level funding” from state officials.

District trustees were told at their regular first of the month meeting Monday, May 2, that the total amount of money from the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) would be approximately $5.9 million.  

That figure plus some other “local” funds brings the total estimated District Maintenance revenue up to $7,402,914, according to District Business Manager Randy Goodwin.

Goodwin said that the estimate was provided to help begin the process of teacher recommendations for the upcoming year. “Getting the contracts out takes some time,” he added.

Goodwin said that the estimated cost of salaries and benefits and operating expenses is $6,429,458.88 that leaves a balance of $973,455.88. He explained that the salaries and benefits figure is for the teaching staff who have not left the district and are expected to return.

The business manager then listed vacant positions that must be filled including superintendent, band director, a gifted teacher, Davidson Elementary librarian, a bus shop mechanic, and two special education teachers. The total cost of those positions is estimated at $414,792.00, reducing the balance to $558,663.12.

Goodwin added that it was probable there would be a cut by state officials during the year that would further reduce the balance.

The trustees said they wanted to see a print-out comparison of funds from this year (FY11) versus the upcoming year (FY12).

“We have to explain to the community why we are still making cuts or we are not rehiring,” said Trustee Casey Washington. “We have to help them understand.”

Trustee Pierce Epes said that he would like to add the previous year (FY10) to the comparison. “I want to see the trend of what is going on.”

As part of the financial discussion, the board also approved both the teacher and administrative salary schedules for the upcoming year.

Among other actions at the May 2 meeting, Board members accepted a bid of $462,834 from Hill’s Construction LLC of Water Valley for renovations at the high school.

The board entered executive session at 7 p.m. to discuss personnel issues after meeting for 28 minutes in regular session.

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