Archived Story

Board hears first budget proposal for upcoming fiscal year

Published 10:52am Friday, August 23, 2013

The Alexander City held its first of two budget hearings for the 2013-2014 fiscal year Tuesday night.
Chief Financial Officer Rhonda Blythe reviewed the proposed budget with the board, first going over general enrollment and employment information for each school.
All numbers for fiscal year 2014 are based on information gathered in November 2012, Blythe explained.
“These are the latest official numbers … that have been sent to the state department,” Blythe said. “And these are the numbers we are actually being funded on.”
Jim Pearson Elementary School’s student enrollment rose from 700.25 students in the previous year to 742.85. Jim Pearson gained .25 of a faculty and staff member compared to the previous year, raising the faculty and staff count to 72.25.
Stephens Elementary School enrollment was up from 463.65 to 473.5. Faculty and staff numbers dropped from 47 to 46.5.
Radney Elementary School’s enrollment dropped from 493.8 students to 456.05 students. Faculty and staff numbers also saw a dip from 38 to 36.25.
Alexander City Middle School enrollment is at 505.85 students, which is a drop from the previous year’s 510 students. Faculty and staff also lost one unit, decreasing from 42 to 41.
Benjamin Russell High School’s enrollment also showed a decrease from 1011.05 the previous year to 992.25. Faculty and staff numbers remained the same at 78.
Total enrollment, Blythe reported, is 3,170.5, compared to last year’s 3,179.1. Total faculty and staff units are at 329, which is one unit less than the previous year.
Average teaching experience is 13.45 years, and the percentage of teachers with advanced degrees sits at 58 percent.
In the previous year, average teaching experience was 16 years, with 63 percent of teachers holding advanced degrees.
Blythe reported that the only change to the salary schedules reflected the 2 percent pay raise as approved by the Alabama Legislature.
Blythe reported a slight overall decrease in the number of state-funded units for teachers, librarians, counselors, administrators, certified support personnel and non-certified support personnel.
“In the current year that we are in, 2013, the foundation funded 201.64 (units), and this year they’re going to fund 198.88,” Blythe said.
The number of funded teacher units rose slightly, from 178.39 in the current fiscal year to 179.63 in FY 2014.
“The change is going to be in other areas,” Blythe said.
The state funded the same number of principals as last year – five – with a .5 drop in the number of assistant principals funded – from 4 to 3.5. The state will also fund .25 units for an administrator in the career tech center, bringing the total number of funded administrators to 8.75.
“They will fund the same number of counselors (5.5), and this is the biggest change – they funded eight librarians last year, and they are going to fund five (this year),” Blythe said.
Funding for the remaining units will be picked up by other state funds as well as federal and local dollars.
Blythe said she expected to spend more than $200,000 on textbooks this fiscal year – relying on both state and federal funds.
Blythe said responses to the review of the proposed annual budget must be submitted to the local board office no later than 10 days after the public hearing date.
During the regular board meeting, Superintendent Darrell Cooper recognized Benjamin Russell High School Athletic Director Pam Robinson for being named the state’s Athletic Director of the Year.
The board also:
approved the July financial report
approved the July 16 minutes
approved Cooper’s personnel recommendations
approved the athletic supplement schedule
The second and final budget hearing will be held Sept. 10 at 5 p.m.
A strategic planning work session will follow the second budget hearing.