Schools ask city for more money

By Staff
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle Schools Superintendent Dr. Mike Reed is asking the City Council for a $200,000 increase in funding in fiscal 2006-07.
Reed made the request after he was asked by city officials to indicate funding needs for schools next fiscal year, which will begin on Oct. 1. Last year, schools received $54,463 above what it cost to make school bond payments.
"It came as a surprise to me," Mayor Dwight Tankersley said. "We're working with only a small projected increase in revenue and trying to implement a new pay plan for our employees. I don't know from where the money would come."
He said the council would meet with the superintendent and school board members on Aug. 14 at 9 a.m. to consider the request.
"We'll want to look at the amount of local funding they expect to receive from all sources and how it is being used," Tankersley said.
Reed said he asked for more money after reviewing the amount of revenue the schools have received from the city's general fund in the past 16 years and compared it against increased costs of operation.
"There has not been an increase in funding from the city since 1990," he said. "The schools received $1.12 million in 1990; they received $1.069 million in 2005-06.
"But costs keep increasing. Last year, we had 18.61 teachers in our system whose salaries and benefits were paid with local funding at a cost of $908,308. Next year, we will have fewer at 16.80 but the cost will be greater at $967,885. The increase can be attributed to a statewide 5 percent salary adjustment, increases in the cost of health insurance and retirement benefits and the addition of five days to the school calendar."
Reed said other factors leading to increased overhead include annexation, a growing student enrollment and higher fuel costs.

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