Pike Co. BOE approves deficit budget

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 14, 2000

News Editor

After the second public hearing on the budget for FY2002, the Pike County Board of Education approved a deficit budget.

"The only thing that has changed since the last meeting on Aug. 9 is more bad news," said Dr. John Key, superintendent of the Pike County Board of Education.

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The bottom line of the budget being submitted to the state is a negative $261,000 that could end up at minus $361,000 if more cuts are made by the state.

Under normal circumstances turning in a deficit budget would mean being taken over by the state, but in a year of proration it is allowed.

Despite numerous cuts – including teachers and aides, an estimated $600,000 in maintenance and over $100,000 at the central office – over the past several years, the school system will have to turn to financial institutions in order to survive the upcoming school year and beyond.

The "most critical area" of need is transportation, Key said.

"Quite literally, we don’t have enough money to buy the diesel fuel or pay bus drivers, so we’re going to have to borrow."

Part of the problems stem from a continual decrease in student population, which has dropped by almost 1,000 in the past 10 to 15 years, Key said. That decrease translates into losses in funding from the state that is based on pupils. Another hit has been a drop in sales tax receipts, and there is a possibility of another 1-percent hit in the near future.

The Board is seeking the help of the Pike County Commission to levy a 1-cent sales tax for education.

After the board of education meeting was adjourned the board member attended the commission meeting in progress next door at the Pike County Courthouse. The commission will vote on the 1-cent sales tax at 6 p.m. at Monday, Aug. 20.

In other business, the Pike County Board of Education …

· Recognized board member who have achieved levels in the Alabama Association of School Board’s School Board Member Academy during the 2000-01 school year. Wyman Botts achieved Level 1 Status, Earnest Green achieved Level 4 status, and Linda Steed achieved Master’s 9 status.

· Approved a request from Pike County Commissioner Karen Berry for demolition of the Pleasant Ridge School on Co. Road 35. Key said the commission will handle the demolition and will bury the building.

· Approved a request for Marvin Jackson and Nancy Richburg to attend a technical workshop in Tucson, Ariz., on Aug. 28-30 with expenses paid from School-to-Career funds.

· Approved East Central Mental Health as a partner in the At Risk Program for 2001-02.

· Approved the employment of Rebecca Hagan as reading teacher at Goshen High school.

· Approved the employment of William Roedl as science teacher at Pike County High School.

· Changed the November board meeting date from Nov. 12 to Nov. 19.