ACS passes $70 million 2019 budget

Published 9:29 am Thursday, September 13, 2018

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – The Alabaster City School system is anticipating about $70 million in revenues from local, state and federal sources during the upcoming fiscal year, according to its recently passed 2019 budget.

The city’s Board of Education voted unanimously during a Sept. 10 meeting to pass the budget after holding its second of two hearings on the matter.

The school system’s 2019 fiscal year will run from Oct. 1 of this year until Sept. 30, 2019.

As passed, the ACS budget includes about $70 million in revenues, which is up about 4.5 percent from last year.

The majority of the increased revenues came from federal sources, which rose 12 percent over last year’s numbers. ACS Chief School Financial Officer Linda Agee said federal funds can only be used in certain areas, as the funds are earmarked for specific purposes.

Local revenues, which includes Alabaster sales tax generated to support the city’s school system, are up 6.6 percent over last year. During a previous budget hearing, ACS Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers said Alabaster’s amount of locally generated revenues are in line with other successful school systems in the area, and shows the community is supporting its school system.

The 2019 budget includes about $73.8 million in expenditures, but as with past years, the numbers are skewed by the about $4.2 million in capital expenditures the system is using to renovate its existing schools in preparation for a shift in the summer of 2019. Once the renovations are completed, the current Thompson Intermediate School will move into the current Thompson Middle School, and TMS will move into the former Thompson High School building.

ACS’s capital expenditures are being funded by $120 in bonds the school system issued in 2014.

The majority of the expenses outlined in the 2019 budget were in the instructional services category, which will be about $35 million and account for about 51 percent of the non-capital expenditures for the year.

ACS has reduced its number of locally funded teacher units over the past few years as well, which Agee said is beneficial for the system. The 2019 budget includes 20.5 locally funded units, which was down from 39.1 in 2016.

About 69.6 percent of the school system’s teachers have advanced degrees, according to the budget.