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Dallas County schools pleased with ‘22 budget

By Lew Gilliland

The Selma Times-Journal

Dallas County Schools did not have to give up any teacher slots for the 2021-22 academic year despite receiving fewer teaching units from the state.

The state funds teacher units based on a system’s average daily membership from the previous year.

Dallas County Schools had an ADM of 2,738.3 last fall, down from 2,901.7 from the year before. Therefore, the system was awarded 158.8 teacher units for fiscal year 2022, down from 167.65 in FY 2021.

However, because the system received teacher stabilization funding from the state in the wake of the pandemic, Dallas County Schools avoided having to eliminate teaching positions.

“I was happy with the way the budget came out,” Superintendent Hattie Shelton said. “The best thing

thing for us was that we did not have to lose any staff because the state approved the teacher stabilization funds for us.”

Shelton said the system has also benefited from receiving ESSER funds (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) under the federal American Recovery Plan.

“This year we did ESSER II and III,” Shelton said. “For our ESSER II funds, we have focused on how we can make learning gains to make up for the losses we had last year. The ESSER III dollars we did several things with. We put in some additional learning games to help close those gaps. We alsolooked at some infrastructure things to help mitigate COVID.”

The system was projected to receive $9,768,431 in ESSER II funding and $21,954,344 in ESSER III funding. The funds are categorized as II or III because they came from different bills.

The system’s projected revenue from the state is $25,429,575 for FY 2022. Projected federal revenues, including ESSER, are $39,939,273, while projected local revenue is $2,683,376.

The system’s largest expenditure is expected to be salaries, which come to $20,184,000. Next is insurance and benefits at about $9 million.