Final school budget approved

By Wendy Byerly Wood -
Aprille Bell and Nathan Bell with Dixon Hughes Goodman present the Elkin City Schools 2017-18 fiscal year audit. - Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Now that state and federal revenues have been decided, the Elkin City Schools Board of Education has approved its final budget resolution for the 2018-19 fiscal year, with a budget just short of $22 million.

Part of that $22 million includes the funding from Surry County commissioners for the Elkin High School gymnasium project, explained Jan Zachary, chief finance officer for ECS. The capital outlay fund, $9,604,905, will reflect that project, although the county will be getting the invoices and paying the bills, she said.

On a state and federal general fund level, Zachary noted several highlights of increases and decreases in funding of which the school board members should be aware.

She said the state increased Elkin’s allotment for program enhancement teachers, such as art, music and physical education, by one, but then the school system’s enrollment has leveled out at 1,180, which decreased its regular teacher positions by one.

Also, the central office funding was cut by 4.4 percent, or $4,400, and Elkin received a cut in driver education funds to $6,172 because the ninth-grade class is smaller and that enrollment is what those funds are based on.

The state has increased the system’s exceptional children funding of $46,148 because its enrollment increased in that area in the 2016-17 year of which the funding is based.

The federal Title I funding increase of $59,000 makes that fund look higher, Zachary said, but it makes up for the decreased funding received for the 2017-18 fiscal year.

Teachers across the state averaged a 6.5 percent salary increase, but as far as individual teachers, she said the amount of raises were varied depending on his or her salary level. Also, the state gave a two-percent increase for noncertified staff and central office staff, Zachary said, as well as bus drivers. The bus driver allotments have not been received yet, and will go to the Surry County Schools transportation division for distribution since that office handles buses for all three county systems.

Locally, the school system was approved for $1,160 for each of its in-county 913 students, which comes to $1,059,080. Other local revenue includes out-of-district tuition of $68,000 and supplemental tax at a rate of 13.2 cents per $100 property valuation totaling $1,044,553.

To ensure the budget balances, school officials will appropriate $147,893 of its local fund balance. Zachary said that is the lowest requested appropriation of fund balance the school system has had since she was hired 13 years ago. She said last year the appropriation request was more than $250,000 and at times it has been as large as $500,000.

The fund balance will have $505,285 of unassigned funding in it after the 2018-19 appropriation, she said.

In addition to the gym project, other capital outlay projects, either from the regular fund or through special appropriations, include new playground equipment at Elkin Elementary School, LED lighting replacement completion at EES and completed painting of hallways and exterior doors at EES.

At Elkin Middle, they include replacing restroom sinks, hand dryers and student desks, and at Elkin High, projects will be disposal of chemicals and replacing the sports fields’ reel mower.

The final budget for the year comes to $21,842,016 from six revenue sources — state budget of $8,508,295, local current expense of $2,488,875, federal grants of $287,801, child nutrition of $591,663, capital outlay of $9,604,905 and local special revenue of $360,477.

The school board members unanimously approved the budget resolution as required.

In other financial matters, the board heard the presentation of the 2017-18 audit during which it was reported that there were no findings of errors.

Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.

Aprille Bell and Nathan Bell with Dixon Hughes Goodman present the Elkin City Schools 2017-18 fiscal year audit. Bell and Nathan Bell with Dixon Hughes Goodman present the Elkin City Schools 2017-18 fiscal year audit. Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

By Wendy Byerly Wood