City schools approve new budget
The Russellville City Schools board of education passed a $26.7 million operating budget Thursday following two budget presentations for fiscal year 2014-2015.
The budget includes $25,551,820 in regular revenues as well as $1,160,335 from other fund sources, bringing total revenues to $26,712,155.
Regular expenditures are $25,811,586 plus other fund uses of $900,569 for total expenditures of $26,712,155.
City schools chief financial officer Lisa Witt said while there were some general maintenance projects accounted for, there were no new capital projects budgeted for this year.
“We don’t have any major projects or purchases that we are expecting in this upcoming fiscal year,” Witt said.
“We made some school bus purchases last year that got us to where we needed to be, and we’re still finishing up the renovations to the girls’ softball field, but there aren’t any other major projects expected.”
The 2014-2015 budget does not include across the board raises, but does account for normal step raises. It also includes a slight raise in the state-allocated money given to teachers for classroom supplies to a total of $310 per teacher.
There are 193.5 certified and 106 non-certified personnel budgeted for 2014-2015, including child nutrition workers and other support personnel.
Several factors that had to be considered in this budget included a significant raise in insurance that will increase spending in this area by $230,000; and funding for their transportation department, which is only funded at 80 percent, leaving the city school system with a $190,000 expense in this area.
However, Witt told board members during the budget hearing on Wednesday that the additional funding created by the one-cent local sales tax that voters approved in June will continue to help the system, even with 25 percent of the funding from this two-year cycle going to the Franklin County Commission for matching funds for road and bridge projects approved through ATRIP.
RCS typically receives about $900,000 per year from the one-cent tax and will receive about $230,000 less per year during this two-year cycle.
“We are very fortunate to have our finances in a place where we are not operating in a deficit,” Witt said.
“This is due in large part to the support we receive from the city and from the one-cent sales tax. Even with the 25 percent going to the county, we will still receive a significant amount from the tax that is essential to our operations, and we appreciate the voters approving this tax for another two years.”