Troy City Schools approves FY2016 budget

Published 2:00 am Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Troy City Schools Board of Education adopted the 2016 budget on Monday.

Mickey Daughtry, CFO for the district, presented a draft of the FY2016 budget to school board members for final approval during Monday’s budget hearing. The budget forecasts revenues of $20.66 million and expenses of $19.6 million, and the excess revenues could allow the district to set aside up to 1.9 months of operating expenses in the reserve funds.

The board expects to end the current fiscal year with only about one month in reserves.

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“We’re forecasting a 3 percent increase in sales tax revenues,” Daughtry told the board members. “I’m forecasting a flat $3 million for the year.”

Personnel expenses remain the largest portion of the district’s expense budget, at $14.5 million or 76 percent. The district employs 237 full-time staff, including 143 teachers; three librarians; five counselors; 11 principals and vice principals; and 79 support staff.

Debt service for the district remains flat at $1.3 million or 7 percent of the budget. The debt service primarily pays the interest portion of the nearly $15 million capital improvement bonds which the district issues to fund renovations at Charles Henderson High School and Charles Henderson Middle School, as well as the construction of a new preschool wing at Troy Elementary and a new softball field at the high school.

In addition to passing the budget, the board on Monday:

• Approved a new purchasing card program for teachers and classroom supplies. The program will allow the district to individual Mastercards to provide each certified teacher and faculty member with the state’s classroom supply allocation. “Every year the certified faculty get money from the Legislature to be used for classroom supplies,” Daughtry said. “In prior years, in order to make those purchases, the teachers would have to fill out a purchase order request, send it to the central office, wait for approval and the p.o. to be issued and then the authorization returned to the teacher. By the time the purchase was made, we probably had $60 in time and supplies.”

The no-fee Mastercards will be preloaded with each teacher’s state allocation – $373.73 this year – and will be restricted to allow tax-free purchases only at selected merchants and for selected types of products. “This way, if they are out somewhere and they see a sale on something they use in their classroom, they can take advantage of it,” Daughtry said.

The program is similar to the purchase card program used by the district in other departments, and Daughtry said auditors had been pleased with the district’s management of that process and the accountability it provided.

In addition, by partnering with Troy Bank and Trust for these no-fee cards, the district will save thousands of dollars in manpower and time spent processing purchase orders, Daughtry said.

• Approved the hire of Brittany Wis as Charles Henderson High School social studies teacher.

• Reviewed a new district policy regarding services provided for ELL students.