School system gets $300,000 from council
Leada DeVaney, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle's financially strapped school system is getting up to a $300,000 boost from the city.
The school system is facing proration of up to 8 percent in the coming school year. To make up that difference – some $994,055 – the city is pledging up to $300,000. The exact amount will depend on the final proration percentage handed down by the state. School officials have been told to expect 8 percent proration, but if that number drops, so will the amount the city is giving to the system.
"This is something we need to do," Councilman Don Hall said. "We're looking at teacher cuts, losing teacher aides. Every school system in this state is going to its councils and cities and asking for extra money. People come here for the school system and we need to do what we can to maintain it."
The school system had previously implemented $505,440 in cost savings and cutbacks for the coming year.
Mayor Clif Knight said the money will come from the city's reserves and not be a budgeted item.
"It's a deserved request," he said.
The $300,000 appropriation brings the total the city gives the system to some $600,000 a year. The city will spend about $300,000 this year on bond issues for the school system, as well as paying a portion of the salaries of the DARE officer and school resource officer.
That figure concerns some council members, who said although they would support the new appropriation, the city had to consider its own needs.
"Can we afford $600,000? I'm for the school system and I know people come here for it, but we also have to remember we have a city," Councilman Dick Carter said.