The Transylvania Times -

By John Lanier
Editor 

Transylvania County School Budget Numbers Laid Out

 

April 29, 2019



The fiscal year 2020 budget request by the Transylvania County Board of Education totals $12,761,809 for the local current expense fund and $250,000 for child nutrition. This represents an increase of 4.78 percent over last year’s budget.

According to the budget documents, 59 percent of the increase is required to meet state mandates, 8 percent is for charter schools, 11 percent is for another English Language Learner (ELL) instructional position, and 22 percent is for supplement increases for school personnel.

The budget requests $343,588 for salary and benefit increases. Those increases are based on a projected 5 percent increase for instructional personnel and a 3 percent increase for all other school employees.

Those figures also include an increase in the retirement contribution rate to 20.43 percent and a health insurance premium rate of $6,349 per eligible employee.

The budget includes an increase of $266,347 to pay for four more teachers in kindergarten through third grade.

The state has mandated a ratio of one teacher to every 19 students in kindergarten through third grade. However, that increase is negated by the reduction of four teaching positions in grades 4-12.

The number of students whose native language is not English has increased from 70 in 2015 to 126 this year. That number is projected to increase to 139 students next year. An additional ELL instructor is projected to cost $66,587.

Payments to charter schools are expected to increase $45,461.

Earlier this year, the Board of Education voted to increase the teacher supplement from 8.5 to 9 percent for veteran teachers. That increase will cost an additional $126,560.

The Capital Outlay Fund is projected to be $1,892,650. Of those funds:

•$996,036 will be for recurring funds, such as furniture, equipment, computers and other technology;

•$75,579 will be for safety/security, which will be used for backup generators at Brevard Elementary, Brevard Middle, Pisgah Forest Elementary and T.C. Henderson Elementary schools;

•$628,400 for repair/replacement, with the major projects being carpet replacement and paving at Brevard Middle and Rosman Elementary schools;

•$137,500 for additions/renovations, which includes sidewalk additions at Pisgah Forest Elementary, reconfiguration of the former computer lab at Rosman Elementary, paving the walking track at T.C. Henderson Elementary and child nutrition equipment;

•$158,400 for vehicles, which includes replacement of a 2004 Ford Taurus, 2005 work van and 1984 activity bus.

Restricted Grant Funds

Restricted Grant Funds include public and private grants, costs charged to federal programs, Medicaid fee for service and administrative claims, before and after school care, etc. Projected revenues are $539,552, a decrease of approximately $190,000 from this year’s budget. Many of the grants the county received in the past are no longer being funded.

The estimated lottery balance at the end of this fiscal year, June 30, is estimated to be $367,249. School staff members project another $242,00 in state distribution and interest for next year to bring the estimated lottery balance to $609,249 next year.

Fund Balances

The local current expense fund balance is estimated to be $548,564 at the end of this fiscal year and remain the same for FY 2020.

The capital outlay fund balance is estimated to be $188,838 at the end of this fiscal year and is projected to remain unchanged by the end of FY 2020.

Summary

The budget summary expresses appreciation for the support of the county commissioners and community.

It states that “With the ever-increasing challenges associated with state and federal mandates and funding, our local dollars have allowed our schools to address our needs while improving our student readiness for success … “Just some of the examples our local dollars help provide and support include: travel and field trips, club competition, arts, music, band, dance, theatre, scholar recognition, athletics, technology, TIME science, ROTC, equipment, infrastructure, safety and health, robotics, quality instruction and special education opportunities.”

 
 

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