ACS reviews proposed 2017 budget

Published 1:45 pm Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Alabaster School System likely will approve its 2017 budget during a meeting on Sept. 12. (Reporter Photo/Keith McCoy)

The Alabaster School System likely will approve its 2017 budget during a meeting on Sept. 12. (Reporter Photo/Keith McCoy)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – The Alabaster City School System is planning to again provide $200 in classroom money to all of its teachers, on top of state classroom money, and is planning to fund more than $69 million in capital projects during its upcoming fiscal year.

ACS Chief School Financial Officer Linda Agee presented the proposed 2017 fiscal year budget during an Aug. 30 hearing at Alabaster City Hall. The school system will hold another budget hearing at 5 p.m. on Sept. 12 before the city’s Board of Education likely votes on the matter during a meeting on the same night.

The school system’s 2017 fiscal year will run from Oct. 1 of this year to Sept. 30, 2017.

As proposed, the 2017 budget includes a total of about $67 million in revenues, which is up about 5.5 percent over last year to account for statewide teacher raises approved for this school year.

Of the revenues, about $35.7 million will come from state sources, about $26.7 million will come from local sources, about $4.4 million will come from federal sources and $201,900 will come from grants.

The proposed budget includes about $138.2 million in expenditures, but the numbers are skewed by the system’s new high school construction and existing school renovation projects, which are being funded by $120 million in bonds the system issued in 2014.

The 2017 expenditures include $69.5 million in capital projects and about $8.1 million in debt service. The new high school is scheduled to open off Thompson Road in the fall of 2017.

Included in the projected expenditures are also about $35.3 million for instructional services.

“We want most of our regular expenditures to be in instructional services, because that is money spent in the classroom,” Agee said.

ACS Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers said the school system is on track to end the 2016 fiscal year with about $14.8 million in reserve, which represents about 3.4 months of operating expense. He said the 2017 budget includes $200 in classroom money for all teachers, and includes library enhancement money on top of what the state provides.

“It looks like we have another promising budget this year,” Vickers said.