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Schools budget exceeds $18.5 million

By By Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
A record $28.5 million operating budget was approved unanimously by the Hartselle School Board Monday night even though revenues from the state are expected to be $243,530 less than what they were in the prior fiscal year.
City schools received $16.68 million from the state’s Education Trust Fund in 2007-08; however, that amount is expected to drop to $16.44 million in the current fiscal year. State funding represents 65.89 percent of the budget while $8.2 million, or 28.75 percent of the total comes from local sources. Federal revenues total $1.45 million and represent 5.08 percent of the total of the budget.
Other sources account for less than 1 percent of the total.
The largest source of additional revenue, some $102,000, is expected to come from TVA payments in lieu of taxes.
A 10-mill district property tax is projected to generate $71,000 more than it brought in last year and a 5.8 mill county property tax is expected to produce an increase of $50,000.
Chief Financial Officer Sarita Tapscott said a .37 percent increase was penciled in the budget for the countywide 1-cent sales tax for schools due to a slowdown in the economy.
She reported the ending balance for Sept. 30 would be about $6.2 million, or the equivalent of three months of operating revenue.
Superintendent Dr. Mike Reed said he expects proration to hit 3 percent, or a loss of state revenue of between $500,000 to $750,000.
The school board acted on other matters as follows:

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