Pelham to consider creating school system on Monday

Hundreds have attended previous public meetings to discuss the possibility of forming a Pelham school system. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

Hundreds have attended previous public meetings to discuss the possibility of forming a Pelham school system. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Pelham City Council could decide during its Sept. 9 meeting if it will appoint a Pelham board of education and form a city school system separate from the Shelby County School System.

Pelham City Clerk Marsha Yates and City Council President Rick Hayes confirmed a resolution to appoint a Pelham board of education will be included on the council’s Sept. 9 agenda.

Hayes said the issue will be on the agenda as a first reading, meaning council members must unanimously agree to vote on the resolution on Sept. 9.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at Pelham City Hall, which is off U.S. 31.

If the council votes to form a Pelham board of education, it will work over the next several weeks to accept applications, interview and appoint school board members.

“It will be on the agenda to be heard,” Hayes said on Sept. 6.

During the Sept. 9 meeting, the council also will review “pro forma” budgets for the proposed Pelham school system. Pro-forma means “forward looking,” and the budget projects the revenues and expenses of a separate Pelham city school system if the system existed today.

The council voted during a late July meeting to pay the Birmingham-based Carr, Riggs and Ingram accounting firm up to $10,000 to prepare the pro forma budget. The company provided two pro forma budgets to the city: One predicting the revenues and expenses of a Pelham school system as it stands today, and another predicting revenues and expenses if $40 million in capital expenditures, 10 percent more teachers and raises for teachers was added.

A city school board would pay an estimated $4.3 million each year to fund $40 million in capital improvements, according to the pro forma budgets.

Each budget also included two categories: A category including all students currently in Pelham’s city limits and a “91 percent” category excluding Pelham students currently zoned for Alabaster and Chelsea schools.

According to pro forma budget documents distributed to city officials:

-A Pelham board of education would have about $6.7 million more revenues than expenses when taking into consideration all students in Pelham if it did not add $40 million in capital projects, teacher additions and raises.

– A Pelham board of education would have about $6.8 million more revenues than expenses when excluding Pelham students currently zoned for Alabaster and Chelsea schools if it did not add $40 million in capital projects, teacher additions and raises.

-A Pelham board of education would have about $2 million more revenues than expenses when taking into consideration all students in Pelham if it did add $40 million in capital projects, teacher additions and raises.

-A Pelham board of education would have about $2.3 million more revenues than expenses when excluding Pelham students currently zoned for Alabaster and Chelsea schools if it did add $40 million in capital projects, teacher additions and raises.