School system can handle 8 percent cut

Published 9:28 pm Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Chilton County Schools should be able to weather up to 8 percent proration next year, according to Chief Financial Officer Steve Yeargan.

The Chilton County Board of Education approved the 2010 budget Tuesday.

Yeargan told the board the system should be able to cover state budget cuts up to 8 percent, mostly with reserve money left from this year.

Anything more than the $3.4 million the county has in the coffers and things will get tight.

“If they proclaim 8 percent proration on Oct. 1 … that will eat up every bit of money I’m showing there,” Yeargan told the board. “We might be able to cover 8 percent, but that will be stretching and struggling.”

Yeargan said many financial officers at other systems might have to borrow money at cuts of five or six percent.

The county is expected to get slightly more than $41 million from the state next year. An 8 percent cut from that would equal around $3.4 million.

Proration for the 2009 budget year was originally set at 9 percent, but Gov. Bob Riley asked for another two percent in July, bringing the total cuts to 11 percent. An 11 percent cut in the 2010 budget would cost the system roughly $4.7 million.

Superintendent Keith Moore said one thing that will help next year’s budget is that all teachers and other staff are paid from federal, state or other dollars — not from local funds.

“I don’t know when it’s ever been zero,” said Moore. “This is really going to help us. It’s going to save us.”

The 2010 budget includes $47,279,759 in total revenue.