Pelham school fund nears $2 million
By MOLLY DAVIDSON/ Staff Writer
The Pelham school fund sat at more than $1.9 million at the close of February, thanks to revenue generated by the 1-cent sales tax increase. The tax generated $355,138.36 in January, calculated at the end of February.
This money will be used to support the new Pelham City School System, which is aiming to split from the Shelby County School System July 1.
The school fund is projected to see continual growth from tax revenue as the July 1 split date nears.
“We can expect revenue to pick up through the spring and summer, and we anticipate bringing in around $400,000 each month,” said Pelham Finance Director Tom Seale.
According to Pelham Interim School Superintendent Dr. Tim Alford, these resources will be transferred from the city directly to the Pelham City School System, and will fund the instructional and support programs necessary for a new school system. The school system is also undergoing an architectural assessment of facilities and the bidding process for the information-technology systems required in modern schools.
The exact allocation of funds across programs will be determined when a new full-time school superintendent is named. The city is currently accepting applications and will likely decide on a candidate in April. However, the majority of the money is expected to go toward hiring quality personnel.
“Most of the funds will support personnel and instructional programs, because what goes on in the classroom is what we’re all about,” said Alford.
Before the entire process can be set in motion, a separation agreement needs to be settled between the new Pelham City School System and the Shelby County School System. The two education boards held a preliminary meeting to begin the separation process in late February. Alford said they are scheduled to meet again tomorrow at noon to continue separation negotiations.