Union Co. Board of Education Approves 2016-17 Draft Budget, includes Reductions of $296, 000+

The Union County Board of Education unanimously approved the 2016-17 Draft Budget that includes over 296-thousand dollars in reductions, bringing the total budget reductions for 2015-16 and 2016-17 to over 525-thousand dollars.

Director of Finance Amy Morris reminded those on hand at the board meeting the district faces a 1-million dollar shortfall, meaning the money they have coming in is not sufficient to cover their operating expenses. She noted they currently are not a deficit district, meaning they can pay the district’s bills and payroll. But the most alarming part, according to Morris, is the contingency percentage continues to decline and without any additional revenue they expect that trend to continue.

The 2015-16 Working Budget adopted last September had a contingency percentage of 5.51 percent and the state requires you to maintain a 2 percent contingency. Morris said the Draft Budget contingency has decreased to 4.62 percent and is a very conservative budget, the first of three phases of the budget cycle. She added there are several unknowns due to legislatures, the General Assembly, a new governor and new commissioner.

According to Morris, the overall budget for 2016-17 decreased 1.5 percent and does not include any cost-of-living raises, but does include mandated salaries and benefits.

Morris said the proposed 2016-17 Draft Budget Reductions total $296,094 and includes the following reductions:

-The Sheriff’s Commission (Actual Cost $202,029) will be reduced from 4% to 1.5% for a total reduction of $126,268;

-Board Allocated Athletic Funding at UCHS (Actual Cost $28,000) will be reduced by $14,000;

-Athletic/Extra Curriculum Programs at UCHS (Actual Cost $176,690) will be reduced by $23,059 by eliminating some of the Assistant Coaching positions, and it also includes reducing the stipends of two positions of the Academic Team and Yearbook Sponsor;

-Athletic/Extra Curriculum Programs at UCMS (Actual Cost $43,758) will be reduced by $15,938, which includes reducing the position of one assistant football coach and reducing stipends for all other assistant coaches, as well as the stipend for the Cheerleader, Track and Speech coaches, the Choral and Band Directors, two Academic Team Coaches and the Yearbook Sponsor;

-Board Paid State Competitions (Actual Cost $16,615) will be reduced by $16,615;

-Uniontown Elementary School – Reduction of .5 Librarian (Actual Cost $31,602) a reduction of $31,602;

-S.A.M. Position at UCMS (Actual Cost $75,546) by a reduction of contract days for a total of $5,151;

-S.A.M. Position at UCHS (Actual Cost $58,212) by a reduction of contract days for a total of $3,175;

-Accelerated Reader Program of Licenses and AR Awards (Actual Cost $22,448) for a total of $22,448;

-Tuition Reimbursement (Actual Cost $17,950) reduction of $17,950;

-Academic Programs at the Elementary Schools (Actual Cost $15,384) that includes reducing the stipend of the Academic Team Coaches at each of the three elementary schools for a total of $5,843;

-Academic Team Travel with an Actual Cost of $2,495 will be reduced by $2,495;

-Custodial Uniform Cost of $1,550.

The 2015-16 and 2016-17 total budget reduction is $525,177.

After the power-point presentation, Superintendent Patricia Sheffer thanked Amy Morris for her diligence on working with the budget. She stated none of them want to make any of these reductions because it will affect students and staff. However, she added they are very hopeful great things will happen with this legislative session.

Board member Lynda Jackson added how important it is to contact elected officials.

In other business, board members approved the 2016-17 School Calendar with a student start date of August 11th and May 23rd as the last day for students as presented by Assistant Superintendent Steve Carter. And due to wintry weather that forced the cancellation of classes, board members approved utilizing February 19th and March 18th of this year as make-up days for students.

Superintendent Patricia Sheffer also recognized Thomas “Buster” Byrd, board members and the UCHS Girls Basketball team. I will have more details of the recognitions coming up later.

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(Featured Photo: WMSK File)


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