RCS releases FY-2019 budget

The Russellville City School Board of Education has released its FY-2019 annual operating budget.

Chief school financial officer Lisa Witt presented the budget to the board Sept. 10. She said state and federal revenues both went up a little bit. Total revenue is about $29.4 million.

State revenue makes up 55 percent of the total revenue – about $16 million – and includes increases in classroom instructional support, like technology and professional development. Each classroom is projected to receive $536.

Transportation funding is down slightly; it is only 79 percent funded, which leaves $150,000 to be funded locally.

Federal revenue makes up 14 percent of the total revenue – about $4 million – and is largely used for personnel. Local revenue makes up 24 percent of the total revenue, or about $7 million.

“I’m pleased with the state budget we have this year,” Superintendent Heath Grimes said.

“We have to express our gratitude for the continued support we receive from the city of Russellville,” Witt added.

Local revenue includes the 1-cent tax and the ad valorem tax.

“This is the only revenue that we really have discretion over,” Witt said.

Witt said local revenue goes toward things like advanced placement classes and extracurriculars the school system offers students.

As far as expenditures, personnel expenses are up, mostly because of the 2.5 percent raise across the board from the state and the raise in teacher retirement, according to Witt. There are 295 staff members accounted for; 190 are certified, and 104 are support personnel.

Utility expenditures have also risen slightly.

There are no large capital projects budgeted for this year.

The budget also includes the continuation of the Pre-K program, after school/summer program and advanced placement program.

“These are very important for our students. We have seen so much success from them,” Witt said.

A few items are partially funded from the state for which Grimes said he would like to see even more state support, like reading coaches, nurses, transportation and Pre-K.

Two things to look forward to in this year’s budget are a technology equipment grant and a peer helper program grant.

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