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New building, new budget

Sitting in a new board meeting room on Monday, members of the Troy City Schools Board of Education were quick to acknowledge the new opportunities ahead for the school system.

“When the people come to Troy and look out here and see this beautiful building, they will know how important our children are to this community,” said Roxie Kitchens, board president.

The theme of investing in the city’s public school system echoed throughout the meeting as members passed the 2011 budget, which included commitments from the local school system to offset state funding shortfalls.

The budget is based on $20.1 million in expenditures and $19.8 million in revenues.

“We will have to pull $228,000 from reserves to balance the budget,” said Superintendent Dr. Linda Felton-Smith.

“But, this budget also includes $200 for each teacher for classroom needs,” she said.

This offsets a lack of state funding.

In addition, the district is giving each teacher two cases of copy paper, to offset what they traditionally would have funded through the classroom allocation and agreed to absorb maintenance contracts normally funded in part by the teachers.

“We will take care of the teacher needs that we have.”

The budget also includes capital funding for completion of a multi-handicapped classroom at Charles Henderson High School; funding for a marketing and public relations director for the schools; funding for technology to offset funds not being provided by the state and funding for a joint Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters program, which is a partnership with the Pike County Schools.

“This is a good budget,” said Dr. Judson Edwards, vice president of the school board, adding that it is a “conservative” forecast.

In other business on Monday, the board:

Heard reports from each of the campus principals regarding the standardized testing data for each school.

“Our focus this year is to look at all the students, not only bringing up those students not proficient, but taking those students at or above grade level and challenging them,” said Juan Henderson, principal at Troy Elementary.

Dr. Kathy Murphy, principal at the high school, said the staff at the school is analyzing the testing data and looking at “where we are, where do we want to be, and how are we going to ourselves there?”

Plans at that school include implementation of ACT test prep courses, changing and altering schedules to give students added instruction time to prepare for the state graduation exam, and increasing performance on AP placement exams.

The school made Adequate Yearly Progress in all categories.

At Charles Henderson Middle School, Principal Delynn Bouldin stressed a two-year plan “to get us where we want to be.”

The school made Adequate Yearly Progress in all categories but Bouldin said the school still has an opportunity to address special education reading scores.

Approved a surplus designation for a tractor and a Ford Taurus.

Approved the resignations of Lee Scott, second-grade teacher; Frankie Hubbard, elementary computer lab aide; and James Johnson, physical education teacher and boys’ basketball coach and the retirement of Oscar Carter, janitor.

Approved the hiring of Tina Adler, second grade teacher; George Bennett, physical education teacher and boys’ basketball coach; Clarissa Darby, maid; and Jernitta Jordan, special education bus driver.

Approved the transfer of Bennett’s eigth-grade son from the Dothan school system.

The next school board meeting will be Monday, Sept. 20.