School Board begins discussions on 2012-13 budget

Published 9:15 pm Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Selma City School Board met Tuesday for a presentation on the 2013 fiscal year budget given by chief school financial officer Grindal Harris.

The budget outlined the projected revenue and expenditures for the upcoming school year and will be voted on next Thursday at the regular board meeting. The 2013 budget projects an ending balance of $8.7 million.

“This is what I think is going to happen, this is a plan,” Harris said. “A budget is not an exact look at what is going to happen, this is just a forecast… A budget is an organizational plan stated in monetary terms.”

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Harris explained the school system receives funds from state, local, federal and other sources. State funding makes up 64 percent of the revenue for the 2013 Selma City School System fiscal year, even though state funding has been cut significantly in 2012.

“We have less money to spend this year,” Harris said. “The biggest cut was to The Foundation program.”

The Foundation program has more than a $200,000 difference than the 2012 fiscal year.

Harris added her biggest concern for the budget was even more cuts by state funding.

“Things depend on the Sept. 18 amendment being passed,” Harris said. “If citizens do not vote yes, the school system budget will be hit hard.”

On Sept. 18 citizens can vote for or against an amendment that will decide how money is spent from the state’s General Fund.

As for expenditures, according to the budget proposal by Harris, 47 percent of all expenditures go towards instructional services, or the direct interaction of teachers and students. That 47 percent amounts to about $16 million.

Basically, less than 50 percent of the budget is used for tools necessary for teachers to teach students in a classroom during school hours. The other 50 percent of expenditures are allocated for auxiliary services, general administration, debt services, operations and maintenance, capital outlay and instructional support services.

“As for debt services, that amounts to two percent of our total expenditures,” Harris said and that includes payments for [Selma High School],” she said.