Superintendent Tim McGinnis presented the board with a tentative budget, which included $14,213,773 in revenue and expenditures in the general fund. The second fund, which includes money for construction as well as federal and state grants, was an additional $3,058,794.51. McGinnis said that the district would be carrying over about $1.9 million from the previous year, which was down from about $2.4 million at this time last year. He said he expected to take in about $200,000 in property taxes, and that the state would probably deduct about $104,000 from that for the SEEK (Support Education Excellence in Kentucky) program. He said he said he expected to get close to $7.4 million back from the state.
McGinnis estimated the district to take in $504,805 (the same as last year) in motor vehicle taxes, but said that this revenue would be something the district would have to keep an eye on because car sellers had told him that fewer people were buying large, expensive cars now that the price of gasoline was so high and the economy wasn’t doing that well. He said that the estimated amount for utility taxes, $725,000, was also the same as the previous year, but that this depended on the weather. He noted, though, that if the district took in more utility taxes because of unusual temperatures, it would have to spend more on energy in its own buildings.
McGinnis said that because of a tough financial situation, he had only budgeted the purchase of one bus next year, which is lower than the district’s goal of buying an average of 2.5 buses per year. He also said that he didn’t consider the district’s fuel fund to be adequate. He said that an increase of $65,000 over last year’s budget (making a total of $175,000) would probably not cover the entire cost.
“The district’s buses traveled a total of 247,000 last year,” McGinnis said. “At seven miles a gallon, that’s $137,000 just to drive to and from school every day.”
McGinnis said the board had been generous in the past with supporting student athletics, academic programs and other extracurricular activities, but that there would have to be cuts in the transportation budget. While he said he understood that students couldn’t only play in home basketball games, the district would have to eliminate what he called “joyrides.”
McGinnis that the $75,000 budgeted for technology was a reduction in $90,000 and was also not enough to meet demand. He said that 5.2 percent of the budget, $742,908 would go into the contingency fund. The state requires a minimum of two percent.
McGinnis also briefly talked about how student absences affect how much money the district gets from the state. He said that parents needed to understand how important it is that their children get to school unless they have a very good reason. He said that rules about state funding were stricter than they were in the past and that if a student misses more than 60 minutes, it counts as an absence. These absences add up quickly, he said.
“For every 187 absences, we lose (the funding for) a kid,” McGinnis said. That’s $38,000.”
McGinnis said that the district’s student absence policy was fairly generous and that they might need to “revisit” it soon. He noted that that primary and intermediate students might be expected to be home sick more often because of childhood illnesses, although Assistant Superintendent of Personnel and Operations Travis Hamby said this theory didn’t turn out to be true in practice.
“That’s probably the case, but the Primary and Intermediate schools’ attendance is much better than the high school’s,” Hamby said.
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.