The Transylvania Times -

School Funding Gets A $500,000 Boost - Brevard NC


November 26, 2018

The Transylvania County Board of Education received some good financial news last Monday evening when they amended the 2019 fiscal year budget to show an increase of nearly $500,000 in funding.

Norris Barger, director of business services and plant operations, reported that the budget has increased in 12 areas.

The largest increase came in fines and forfeitures of $98,855.

“That’s a settlement figure,” said Barger.

The General Assembly had been withholding fines and forfeitures from the public schools, but a court order called for them to release the funds.

Board Attorney Chad Donnahoo said the General Assembly still owes the state schools about $40 million.

Board Vice Chair Ron Kiviniemi, however, said he has not heard of the state paying any other installments and that while the courts agreed that the money was owed to the schools, they were not compelling the General Assembly to pay the money.

Other budget figures included increases of $97,143 for initial allotment, $69,082 for summer of 2018 reading expenditures, a $66,878 carryover from 2018, $54,221 for developmental day care and $50,000 for a CTE grade expansion program grant.

Of the $496,634, the leading expenditures will be $151,364 for special instruction, $126,866 for alternative programs and $120,936 for regulation instruction.

NCSBA Report

Kiviniemi and Griffin gave brief reports on what they learned at the recent state meeting of the North Carolina School Boards Association (NCSBA).

Griffin said a study showed the economically challenged families cared about their children’s education but could not be as involved as they would like because some of the parents were working two or three jobs.

He also said that representatives from other counties said they had undergone economic challenges when their manufacturing plants closed down.

He said one county has seven textile plants shut down.

“We’re not the only county facing these problems,” said Griffin.

Both Griffin and Kiviniemi mentioned that the NCSBA’s legislative agenda for the upcoming year include: having the state pay its fines and forfeitures obligations, increase pay for those teachers with more than 25 years of experience, increase pay for administrators, give funding authority to the schools and keep the current school report card scale in place instead of changing it to a 10-point scale.

Strategic Plans

Dr. Jeremy Gibbs, chief academic officer, said that NCStar would be used to help the district and individual schools develop strategic plans.

The three goals of the county’s strategic plan are: 1) Every Transylvania County Schools student has a personalized education graduating from high school prepared for work, higher education, and citizenship; 2) Every Transylvania County Schools student has excellent educators every day; and 3) Every Transylvania County Schools student is healthy, safe and responsible.

Gibbs said one advantage of the NCStar system is that it provides specific indicators to show whether or not these goals are being met.

The indicators fall into five major categories: instructional excellence and alignment, leadership capacity, professional capacity, planning and operation effectiveness, and families and community.

Gibbs said NCStar allows school staff to check these indicators in “real time” so that they can determine if they are making no progress, making progress or meeting their goals.

“It’s been fairly easy to use,” said Gibbs of NCStar.

Other News

•The board unanimously passed a first reading of 31 policies ranging from parental involvement and school safety to teacher licensure and bidding for construction work.

Donnahoo said none of the policy changes are substantive and that the minor language changes are driven by state law.

The board will vote again on the changes at its next meeting.

•Board members expressed their appreciation to all who supported the recent bond referendum, especially the members of the Vote YES Committee who volunteers their time to help pass the bond.

“I’m just so proud of the community for stepping up for the kids,” said board member Marty Griffin.

Board Chair Tawny McCoy said the board would now move forward as quickly as possible to find architects for the school.

There’s a lot of work to be done,” she said.

•McDaris reported that more information is becoming available on the impact of ACES (adverse childhood experiences) that affected a child’s education. He said a 22-year study of children from Western North Carolina has shown that students with ACES are more likely to suffer from mental illness and addiction as adults.

Student with ACES also are much more likely to be poor, have psychiatric and physical health problems and be involved in violent relationships.

As a result, McDaris said schools have to be concerned with students’ emotional and social well being and not just their academic performances.


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