Selma City Schools BOE holds first round of budget talks

Published 8:17 pm Thursday, September 5, 2019

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of articles looking at the proposed budget for the Selma City School system. 

Selma City Schools Chief School Financial Officer Grindal Harris led the first of two budget hearings at Selma High School Thursday night to present an overview of the proposed 2019-2020 financial budget.

She began by talking about The Foundation Program, which is the state funding mechanism for K-12 school districts in Alabama and provides a funding formula for the allocation of funds for teacher units, instructional support units such as principals, assistant principals, counselors and librarians, support personnel such as bookkeepers, aides and custodians, funding for supplies such as textbooks, instructional supplies, professional development, technology and library enhancement and the requirement for every school district to contribute local effort equivalent to the value of 10 mills of local district property tax for its share of the cost of the Foundation Program.

“Foundation dollars are earned based on the average enrollment for the 20 days after Labor Day for the previous school year,” said Harris adding that the average daily membership (ADM) plays a big role in how much funding is earned.

According to the budget proposal, Selma City Schools have lost 454.75 total ADM units with 219.80 in the 2018-2019 fiscal year and 234.95 in the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

All schools have lost ADM units except for Edgewood Elementary School, which gained students after the closure of Cedar Park Elementary School with a gain of 27.35 units.

From the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 fiscal years, Cedar Park lost a total of 51.95 ADM; Clark Elementary lost a total of 91.80, Sophia P. Kingston lost a total of 31, School of Discovery lost a total of 40.45, Knox Elementary lost a total of 32.35, Meadowview Elementary lost a total of 37.30, Payne Elementary lost a total of 60.85, Selma High School lost a total of 112.30 and R.B. Hudson Middle School lost a total of 24.10.

Teacher units lost over the past two years equaled 26.76 units with 12.89 units being lost in the 2018-2019 fiscal year and 13.87 units being lost in the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

All schools lost teacher units except for Edgewood with the gaining of Cedar Park employees and students gaining 1.60 units.

With a total form both the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 fiscal year, Cedar Park lost a total of 3.41 teaching units, Clark lost a total of 5.66 units, Sophia P. Kingston lost a total of 2.01, School of Discovery lost a total of 1.36, Knox Elementary lost 2.09 units, Meadowview lost 2.42 units, Payne lost 3.92 units, Selma High School lost 6.26 units and R.B Hudson lost 1.23 units.

According to the proposal, the Foundation source of revenue has decreased each fiscal year because of the continuous decline with $18,602,427 budgeted in fiscal year 2018, $17,615,960 in fiscal year 2019 and $17,167,073 budgeted for fiscal year 2020.