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School Board gets first look at budget

By Greg Bird

The McCreary County Board of Education received a briefing on the 2018-19 tentative budget at their last monthly meeting.
According to the memorandum presented by Finance Officer Michelle King, the tentative budget is projected to net $20,142,984 in revenues for the next school year, but approximately $1.5 million of those revenues are carry-over from the previous year’s budget contingency.
King stated the general fund budget has enough funding to cover all salaries and benefits for the school year, as well as any supplies and equipment purchased through Site Based Decision Making councils.
Superintendent Michael Cash said this week that he and the Board are “extremely happy” with the tentative budget as it projected to produce enough revenue to cover expenses and salaries for the upcoming school year.
However, he noted, the tentative budget is only a forecast and based on expected revenues from state sources. Those expected revenues could change over the next months as the state revises their allocation formulas.
The budget includes about $1.57 million set aside in contingency funds for the year, which represents approximately 7.7 percent of the general fund budget, and 5.7 percent of the total of all funds in the overall budget. State law requires school districts to keep at least two percent in contingency, but the McCreary County Board of Education policy requires at least five percent of the budget be held in reserve.
With the budget the Board continues to modernize their bus fleet by replacing old units as funds are included in the budget to purchase four new busses, as well as camera systems for eight newer units and the utility and operational expenses.
Approximately $350,000 has been allocated toward repair and maintenance projects throughout the district. Superintendent Cash said there were no specific projects slated for the coming school year, but the monies set aside should cover routine expenses as well as the possibility of an unexpected repair project.
The District still has replacing the roofs at McCreary Central and Pine Knot school buildings as a top construction priority, but funding is not available for those projects in this budget.
Three restricted funds, Special Revenue, Capital Funds and Food Service, have sufficient revenues to cover costs of debt service, salaries, food purchases and grant matches for the year.
In the memorandum King stated she projected the revenues conservatively, and aggressively estimated the expenditures based on available information as to not under evaluate the budget. Changes to the working budget will be made as more information from the state is forthcoming and updates will be presented to the Board once school begins.
A finalized budget is not required to be passed by the Board until September.

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