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City school officials pass “better” budget for new FY

Published 6:00am Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Russellville City Schools board of education passed a $24 million operating budget Thursday, one that should put the system in fair shape for the first time in several years, officials said.
“This year’s budget is not perfect, but it’s better than we have had,” city schools chief financial officer Lisa Witt told board members Thursday.
Following three consecutive years of state mandated proration, school officials were relieved to work on a budget in which they knew what was coming.
The budget includes $24,312,604 in regular revenues as well as $631,093 from other fund sources, bringing total revenues to $24,943,697.
Regular expenditures are $23,791,222 plus other fund uses of $511,858 for total expenditures of $24,303,080.
The budget does not include across the board raises, but does account for step raises for employees who qualify. There are 184.5 certified and 100.5 non-certified personnel budgeted, including child nutrition workers and the newly formed transportation department.
The allocation to teachers for classroom supplies increased from $134 to $300 per teacher in the new budget as well.
Witt told board members that several factors that played into the new budget made it a little unique to those in recent years.
She said there was no federal stimulus money for the first time in four years, but with the absence of proration and the additional funding created by the one-cent local sales tax that voters approved, the system is in better financial condition than they have been.
“We won’t have to pull from local funds for teaching units this year,” Witt said.
“It’s a better budget thanks to the one-cent sales tax the community supported and the increased funding from the state.”

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