BOE approves $35.8 million budget for PCS

The Pelham Board of Education approved the $38.5 million fiscal year 2015 budget for the Pelham City School system during a Sept. 29 meeting. (File)

The Pelham Board of Education approved the $38.5 million fiscal year 2015 budget for the Pelham City School system during a Sept. 29 meeting. (File)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—The Pelham Board of Education approved the first budget for the new Pelham City School System during a Sept. 29 meeting.

The $35.8 million fiscal year 2015 budget consists of federal, state and local funding, including $16.5 million from local taxes.

PCS Superintendent Dr. Scott Coefield said he expects to see the 2014 fiscal year finish with a $1.2 million surplus and projects the 2015 fiscal year to close with a $2 million surplus. Combined this puts $3 million in reserves for the school system, the equivalent of one month’s operating costs.

“(It will) have us over that $3 million range at year one,” Coefield said. “I think it’s a good year one budget, but we’ve got a lot of planning in front of us.”

The largest expenditure of local funds in the 2015 fiscal year budget goes to staffing. The budget allocates around $6.4 million of local funds to faculty and staff at the four PCS schools.

In addition to spending on facility operations, staffing and transportation, the fiscal year 2015 budget includes more than $500,000 for extracurricular activities, including coach and sponsor supplements.

“I think it’s… a step in the right direction for us,” BOE President Rick Rhoades said of the extracurricular funding. “(Coaches do) a lot of extra work, and high pressure work.”

The budget also allocates more than $1 million for technology updates and a “technology plan,” Coefield said.

“We’ve got to upgrade the technology that’s out there,” Coefield said, adding the school system would create a concrete plan for technology spending.

The BOE unanimously passed the 2015 budget. All of the required budget documents and a Power Point presentation breaking down the 2015 budget can be found online at Pelhamcityschools.org under the Finance Department page.

“There is no past budget to use as a reference to go by, this just started with a clean sheet of paper,” Rhoades said. “This first budget puts us in good shape… we appreciate this, it’s a good start for us.”