Troy Schools works toward budget

Published 11:00 pm Friday, September 14, 2012

Troy City Schools are one step closer to passing a budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year after a second public hearing on Friday afternoon. Mickey Daughtry, chief financial officer for the district, reviewed the proposed annual budget for those present at the hearing.

The total enrollment for Kindergarten through 12th grade at Troy City Schools is 2,095 students. The proposed budget includes expenses of $5,411 per student for the year, according to Daughtry.

Teacher salaries and fringe benefits make up about 78 percent of planned expenditures for the year, Daughtry explained. There are 154 members of the school district’s teaching staff with an average experience level of 14.04 years. Sixty-six percent of the teaching staff hold a Masters degree, or higher.

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While teacher experience and enrollment are positives noted in the budget, planned expenditures do exceed planned revenues for the school system for the 2012-2013 budget.

“You’ve got a gap there of $5.3 million,” Daughtry said, noting that the difference will be made up with $3.5 million in bond proceeds designated for construction and $1.8 million from the General Fund operating reserve.

The proposed budget shows total planned expenditures at $23.1 million and planned revenues at $17.7 million. Of that $17.7 million, 56 percent will come from state funding, 31 percent will be local funding and 12 percent will be federal block grants.

At the end of September 2013, the district is projected to have about three months of operating reserves. The state mandates a one-month reserve. Troy City Schools Superintendent Lee Hicks said that it isn’t normal for school systems to operate with more planned expenditures than projected revenue, but it is sometimes necessary.

“It comes down to trying to keep class size down and watching the student-teacher ratio,” Hicks said, adding that Troy schools were still in a fair position because many school systems don’t have any reserves.

Hicks also explained that the increase in enrollment this year won’t be recognized in funding until next year. “If you need teachers, you need them now, not later,” Hicks said. “A lot of school systems ‘in the red’ are doing the same thing.”

The school board will meet on Sept. 25 to vote on the proposed budget.