School budget planning begins

Published 11:10 am Friday, June 2, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Clarification on funding and preliminary budget discussions were the focus for a Chilton County Board of Education work session on June 1.

The meeting had originally been scheduled to work on job descriptions and the salary schedule but the information was not available in time.

Board members asked Chief School Finance officer LaVerne Williams and central office staff to develop recommended changes and bring it to the board at a later date.

The July meeting is the target date for this. School Superintendent Tommy Glasscock said there are some staff out for medical reasons, and this could slow down the process. He said the recommended changes would address updates and what someone would earn if they went from one position to another. Williams said there are also updates that need to be made to make sure the policy and the employee handbook match.

Work on the 2017-2018 budget for the school system has begun. Williams said she has met with each of the principals about developing school level budgets for next year.

Williams did present clarification ­­on the number of locally funded positions. She said there was a coding error and five positions that were coded to be coming from local funding should have been coded as paid from federal funding. Williams said this will be corrected in the 2017-2018 budget.

Board member Joe Mims asked how many positions would be locally funded.

The school system Superintendent and the CSFO will definitely be funded from local funding next year. A possible third position, the principal at Jemison Middle School, may also have to be funded with local revenue.

Board member Pam Price asked if the school system would have to pay for the Jemison Middle School principal, vice principal and counselor from local funds.

Glasscock said the majority of the staff for the middle school are currently employees with the school system, and how their position is funded would not change.

“You got to think about it like these people just walked out of one building and went to another,” Glasscock said.

State funding will likely cover all the positions, except for the principal. Glasscock hopes to work with the state to have the principal position covered in this funding as well.

Despite hiring a CSFO and an assistant CSFO, the school system is still using Kim McPherson of Criterion Financial Consultants on a limited basis.

“I wanted to request one day every two weeks for the next three months to have just a closed door all day, just me asking questions that I had written up in the last two weeks with Ms. McPherson,” Williams said.

Another consultant was brought in to assist with the salary study.

The school system has spent $70,958 on consultants, not including costs in May.

“I am confident that things are really going well [in the finance department],” Glasscock said.

Creating a secretary position that split time between federal programs and special education department and a secretary for the CNP department was also discussed.

Glasscock said there are two unfilled positions that could be eliminated to pay for these positions.