School board takes ‘wait and see’ attitude on state funding crisis

Shelby County Schools will receive nearly $686,000 more in state funding for Fiscal Year

2004 than originally projected, according to the state Department of Education.

However, school board members are taking a wait and see attitude.

Jim Davis, assistant superintendent of finance for Shelby County Schools, reported on the increase from the state at the Shelby County Board of Education’s regular meeting last week.

When school board member Trey Ireland asked if the projected increase in funding from the state included &uot;fictitious&uot; numbers, Davis responded, &uot;Yes.&uot;

He explained there is no approved state budget at this point.

Davis also told the board that the school system will attempt to have a balanced budget without the additional state funds.

School Superintendent Evan Major said, &uot;Obviously, we’ve got to know where the dollars are.&uot;

He also said he authorized an increase of three teacher units for the school system.

&uot;After Sept. 9 (the vote on the governor’s proposed tax increase and accountability package), we’ll have a clearer picture,&uot; Major said.

According to information provided by Davis, the increased funding from the state includes a $164,352 increase in salaries and benefits and a $513,457 increase in the operating allocation for transportation.

He also presented the school board with state Department of Education figures showing a 1 percent increase in salaries of $1,438 and a $8,229 increase in

current teacher units less $1,484 for the preschool program for a total increase in state funds of $685,992.

However, Davis reminded the school board that it is still paying 17.67 percent of the foundation program

from local funds