School board concerned about student safety

Published 8:51 pm Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The closing of Chilton Medical Center on Monday is weighing heavily on the minds of its employees, patients and many others in the county, including the Chilton County Board of Education.

With 7,700 students enrolled in county schools and 89 school buses on the road every day, the board recognized that access to a local emergency room could be crucial in saving students’ lives.

In a called meeting of the board Tuesday afternoon, Chilton County Schools Superintendent Dave Hayden talked to board members about the need to have an emergency plan for students in the event of illness or injury requiring immediate care.

“At best, we’re 30 minutes away from the nearest emergency room,” Hayden said. “I want to do what we can.”

Hayden said he intends to contact Chilton County EMA Director Bill Collum, Clanton Fire Chief David Driver and other local emergency medical personnel to try to formulate a plan for handling future medical emergencies among students and faculty.

In other business Tuesday, Chief Financial Officer Steve Yeargan presented the board’s year-end financial statements for Fiscal Year 2011–2012.

According to Yeargan, the board will end the fiscal year with about $6.4 million in the general fund.

“For the next 12 months, we’re expecting to operate with expenses higher than revenues by $1.7 million,” Yeargan said. “That leaves $4.7 million. Out of that, we are mandated by the state to reserve $4 million.”

The state mandates that the board maintain a minimum reserve of $4 million on which to operate and make payroll for all employees at any given time each month.

The board’s proposed budget for the 2012–2013 fiscal year is $77 million.

The board also approved leave requests and substitute employees, accepted resignations and approved two employees (one at Clanton Elementary and one at the Chilton County Bus Shop) on an emergency basis.