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School board gets new look at the 'old' budget

LOUISBURG -- The Franklin County Board of Education got a new look at its current budget last week after the district's new Chief of Finance, Doug Hale, explained the format he is using.

The numbers are essentially the same but the way the budget is being compiled is what Hale hopes will turn it into a more effective tool for school board members and administrators.

The 2016-17 operating revenue budget totals $69,200,096, Hale said.

Of that, just over $50 million comes from state funds, about 73 percent overall.

Local funds add another $16.2 million or 23 percent and federal funds account for $2.6 million or 4 percent.

In addition, the district's capital revenue budget is $1,448,100, all of it from local funds.

Hale, who assumed the chief financial officer's position after the retirement of Doug Moore last summer, presented the board with a budget that breaks down the various revenue and expense line items in a different way than has been done in the past.

The new budget format also changes the ways budget transfers can be handled.

Under this new plan, transfers of funds within a purpose classification within the same type fund will not require a report to the board of education.

Budget transfers between purpose classifications within the same fund require a report to the board.

In addition, budget transfers from a contingency appropriation within a fund require a report to the school board.

Under Hale's direction, the district created a $150,000 contingency fund which can be used by administrators without advance board approval. That fund was essentially drawn from the fund balance (savings).

Budget transfers between funds are not allowed except between the Local Current Expense and Capital Outlay funds with prior approval from the county commissioners. This is in compliance with state law.

Hale also cautioned the board that going forward the local appropriation must cover all teacher supplement expenditures, some of which have been drawn from other sources in the past but those sources have been depleted.

Hale said the idea of presenting the budget differently is to "see what we are spending money on -- and whether we are getting value" for those expenditures.

Once the new budget format was approved, the school board decided unanimously that sixth grade students will be eligible to play interscholastic athletics -- except football.

Dr. Larry Webb, executive director of auxiliary services, said a change in state law makes this permissible and that a polling of local athletic directors, principals and middle school parents indicated it is "inevitable"

Webb said the poll of parents indicated that 273 were in favor of letting sixth graders play while only 87 opposed the change.

The change will begin with the winter sports schedule this year.

The school board also got a look at school improvement plans being used in local schools.

Dr. Rhonda Schuhler, assistant superintendent, told the board that "the key to our success is regularly working with schools and principals.

"The focus is on using data and having reachable goals," she said.

Each school will have three to four smart goals, she said, and goals should be based upon results of comprehensive needs assessments and alight with the district's strategic plan.

Low performing schools -- there are three in the district -- are subject to a different set of regulations set by the state, Dr. Schuhler said.

Those schools are Franklinton Elementary, Bunn Middle and Franklinton Middle.

They must have a school improvement plan that focuses on improving both school performance and growth, Dr. Schuhler said.

Those plans must be posted on the district's website for 30 days for allow the public to comment before the board takes action on them.

The improvement plans for all other schools were unanimously improved Monday night. A vote is scheduled for November on the improvement plans for low performing schools.

Following the open portion of the board meeting, the school board handled these personnel items:

• ACCEPTED the resignations of these certified personnel: Crystal Duckett, Cedar Creek Middle, teacher-Grade 6-Language Arts; Jaimi Rynn, Bunn High, teacher-science; Diana Hamner, Youngsville Elementary, teacher-Grade 1.

• HIRED these certified personnel: Stephen Carpenter, Louisburg High, teacher-Social Studies; Sean Carr, Youngsville Elementary, teacher-PE; Kimberly Caudill, Terrell Lane Middle, teacher-Grade 7-Language Arts; Ashlan Golden, Edward Best Elementary, teacher-Grade 2; Mary Mach, Youngsville Elementary, media coordinator; Thomas Morris, Bunn High, teacher-Science; Laurin Parrish, Royal Elementary, counselor; Kim Paylor, Youngsville Elementary, teacher-EC General.

• ACCEPTED resignations of classified personnel: Alvin Alston, bus driver - EC; Tonyetta Evans, Long Mill Elementary, teacher assistant - Pre-K; Bertha Wilson, Royal Elementary, child nutrition lead assistant; Angela Wooten, Franklinton High, teacher assistant-EC.

• HIRED classified personnel: Tammy Bell, central office-human resources, HR benefits assistant; Sheronda Davis, Bunn High, teacher assistant-EC; Carlton Jones, Cedar Creek Middle, assistant boys basketball coach; Samuel Jordan, maintenance mechanic V; Neely Pruit, Franklinton Elementary, teacher assistant; Shannon Stephens, EC Department, physical therapy assistant.

• EMPLOYED substitute teachers: Jenny Cranfill; Milton Jenkins; Jeanetta Jennings; Nicole Joyner; Eddie Williams Jr.

Pictured (Above, left): BOARD HONORED. The Franklin County Board of Education recently received a Gold Award for whole board training from the North Carolina School Boards Association. The award was presented by the school district's Director of Communications Patrick Glace. Receiving the award were board Chair Dr. Elizabeth Keith (left) and Vice Chair Paige Sayles. These awards are presented annually by the NCSBA and this year, Franklin County's board was just one of three statewide among the 115 districts, said Superintendent Pascal Mubenga. The award notes that the entire school board completed the suggested training for school board members.

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