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County school budget will see funds lost in last two years restored in ’05

LINDEN-The FY 2005 school budget is shaping up to be a very good one for Marengo County’s four schools including Marengo High, Sweetwater High, John Essex, and A.L. Johnson. Superintendent Luke Hallmark announced this good news during the Marengo County Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, May 18.

He said the 2005 budget will see all the money that was missing from this year’s budget and next year’s budget be put back, and there would also be some increases in funding for transportation and in other areas as well. He also said the budget would be a mirror image of the FY 2003 budget.

“I feel very good about this new budget,” Hallmark said, “It’s a very good budget overall.”

He said the Marengo County Commission approved the one-cent sales tax increase and that means the county school system would receive 38-36 percent of the 17 percent of the sales tax that has been approved for the local school systems in Marengo County.

He said the new Ala-tax report showed the school system currently collecting more this year than in previous years. He also said as of April 2004, the system has collected $149,000, which is $14,000 more than what was reported in April of 2003.

“We currently have an enrollment of 1,667 in the Marengo County School System,” Hallmark said.

He said all four of the school schedules would be the same for the next school year. He also said the reason why they decided to make them all the same, was because there was some confusion among the parents and faculties of the school.

“We just received our newest defibrillator,” Hallmark said, “This now gives us one defibrillator at every school in the system as well as our nurse, who always carries one with her.”

He said every school in the system would have three to four people that would be trained to use the defibrillator in case of an emergency. He also said they now have enough security wands (metal detectors) for every school as well.

During the meeting they also voted on these issues:

* They approved the financial and payroll reports for April.

* They rejected the only offer they received for video surveillance system.

* They approved a declaration of surplus vehicles and fuel tank.

* They approved the janitors for the summer of 2004.

* They approved a salary adjustment and coaching supplement for a teacher that filled in for David Miller when he was acting principal at John Essex.