School budget changes little in 2011

Published 10:36 pm Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Demopolis City Schools system on Tuesday held its first public meeting regarding the 2010-11 budget. The second public meeting will take place at the school board meeting on Monday, Sept. 13, at 5:15 p.m.
The $20.3-million budget reflects a 2.6-percent decrease in salaries and budgets from last year’s budget. Salaries and benefits total $15.2 million in the 2010-11 budget, or 79 percent of all expenditures.
Debt services increased by 227 percent, tripling last year’s cost, totaling $548,255.80 for Fiscal Year 2011.
“Debt services tripled because we have Qualified School Construction Bonds with the high school auditorium and other bonds,” said Demopolis City Schools chief financial officer Linda Agee. “That total includes interest and principle for those bonds.
“Next year, one of those, at $94,000, goes away and another at $74,000 goes away. We knew it was going to be tough for a year or two, but it was worth getting that money.”
The unemployment rate — or the amount of unemployment benefits given to released employees — went from 0.05 percent in FY 2010 to 0.23 percent for FY 2011.
“Most of that is substitute teachers,” Agee said. “Starting this year, we are going with Kelly Services, and we will no longer employ subs. That will help with the unemployment payments, because Kelly is going to pay them. We will still have the same database of subs, but everything will go through Kelly Services.”
Other notable changes in this year’s education budget has almost $3 million in instructional support services, down 11.3 percent from last year, and $825,311.23 in capital outlay, down 33 percent from last year. The overall $20.3-million budget is 3.2 percent less than last year’s budget.
Projected revenues for the school system include almost $13 million from the state, down 6.2 percent from last year; $3.68 million from local monies, down 6.5 percent from last year; and $3.2 million from federal monies, down 3.5 percent from last year.