SCBOE begins budget talks

By KATIE MCDOWELL/Lifestyles Editor

The projected Shelby County School System 2012-2013 budget is $303 million.

The board heard the projected budget in a hearing led by Assistant Superintendent for Finance Gary McCombs during its Aug. 23 meeting.

Approximately 70 percent of the projected budget would be used for employee salaries and benefits.

McCombs said the budget is based on a projected enrollment of 28,591 students. In his own report to the board, Superintendent Randy Fuller said this year’s enrollment is actually 28,602, an increase from 28,219 in the previous year.

“We feel that in the next week and even after Labor Day, our numbers will continue to increase,” he said.

McCombs said parents and other stakeholders may request a paper or digital copy of the budget for review. The board will vote on the budget during the Sept. 6 board meeting.

The proposed budget also includes estimates for other 2012-2013 statistics, including teachers and individual school enrollment.

The following schools have the highest enrollment: Thompson High, 1,762; Pelham High, 1,746; Oak Mountain High, 1,682; and Oak Mountain Middle, 1,223.

The school system employs about 3,608 teachers this year. Those teachers have an average of 14 years of experience, and 72 percent have advanced degrees.

In other business, the board also approved Joel Dixon as the principal of Vincent Middle/High. Dixon has served as the assistant principal at Calera High for the last four years.

“Coming to Shelby County has been the best decision of my career,” he said. “It’s a great system, and I’m thankful to be a part of it.”

Prior to coming to Shelby County, he was an English teacher and coach at McAdory High for 10 years.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in English and his master’s degree in education from UAB and his administrative certification from the University of Montevallo. He is currently pursuing his Ed.S at UAB.

Dixon said he’s looking forward to starting his new job.

“My goal daily is to work as hard as I can to make Vincent Middle/High the best in Shelby County,” he said.

The next board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 6 at 4 p.m. at the central office in Columbiana.