Schools OK despite fund cuts

Published 9:53 pm Monday, November 24, 2008

Schools across the state were awarded only 75 percent of their October state funding, and November looks to follow suit..

But even still, county and city schools will still be able to make payroll this week.

Local superintendents said they have received the remainder of their October funding, and they hope November’s cuts will be consistent.

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Troy City Schools’ employees will be paid today, though the 75 percent allocations won’t come until Friday, said Superintendent Linda Felton-Smith.

And, Felton-Smith said if the extra funding is timely, city schools will be able to make up the rest of the funds for now.

“If in the time period from paying employees until we receive the actual state allocations we have any expenditures to pay, it would create a problem,” said Troy City Schools Superintendent Linda Felton-Smith.

Pike County Schools’ employees will be paid on Friday, and Superintendent Mark Bazzell said they also are in good shape to make payroll.

“We will handle it just like last month,” Bazzell said. “It will not create a cash flow problem with us.”

Bazzell said even though this is the second month in a row school funds were held, this did not come as a surprise. “We knew this present state of the economy was eventually going to create problems with our state funding,” Bazzell said. “This is not a surprise.”

Even though Alabama voters passed Amendment 1, a move that will allow legislators to borrow from a trust fund to ease the pain of proration, that money can’t be touched until Gov. Riley declares proration.

“Hopefully the governor will go ahead and call proration to be able to access the funds for Amendment 1,” Felton-Smith said.

Bazzell said it could be in the next month proration is declared.

While school officials said their bank accounts are OK right now, they are concerned what could happen if the economy doesn’t pick up.

“If things don’t turn around, we would not have the money, and we would have to cash in some of our CDs to make payroll,” Bazzell said.