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Schools able to handle proration

On Sept. 16, Gov. Bob Riley increased proration for Fiscal Year 2010 in the state’s Education Trust Fund from 7.5 percent to 9.5 percent, cutting the budgeted spending for the year from the trust fund by an additional $113 million.
That extra 2 percent represents 2 percent of the school systems’ entire budget for FY 2010, causing several school systems to borrow money to make their payrolls for this month. The new fiscal year begins on Oct. 1.
“There seemed to be some confusion in the public,” said Demopolis City Schools superintendent Dr. Al Griffin. “It’s not 2 percent from the month of September, but 2 percent for the entire fiscal year, which began on Oct. 1, 2009, and will go through Sept. 30, 2010.
”It has affected us. Our entire allocation from the state will be 76 percent of what it normally is, which is $238,000. Fortunately, we’ve been good stewards of our money, and we have the money to offset this. However, it does hurt.”
Griffin said the school system was using funds in reserve to help cover this month’s payroll.
“The way it looks, at the end of the year, we’re still going to end ahead of what we normally would,” he said.
Griffin added that school systems have been warned of another wave of proration on the horizon.
“We’ve been forewarned that 3- to 5-percent proration is coming in Fiscal Year 2011, which starts next Friday,” he said. “We are hoping that the proration is more towards 3 percent.
“We had budgeted for 5-percent proration in our Fiscal Year 2011 budget, so if the Fiscal Year 2011 proration is 3 percent instead of 5 percent, we are going to come out OK.
“ If you add the 2 percent that we had with this fiscal year along with the 3-percent proration, this time next year,” he said, “we’ll be in a close proximity of where we had anticipated with the FY ’11 budget.”