Pelham school board passes $41M budget

Published 4:52 pm Friday, September 14, 2018

PELHAM – A $41.19 million budget was passed for fiscal year 2019 by the Pelham Board of Education at a special called meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

The current fiscal year ends Sept. 30, and FY 2019 begins Oct. 1. By the end of FY 2018, Pelham City Schools expects to have about $6.8 million in reserves, which equates to about 2.3 months of operating expenses.

The Alabama State Department of Education recommends that school systems have at least one month’s operating balance in reserve for emergency purposes.  One month of operation for PCS amounts to about $2.9 million.

The allocation of money is aligned to the district’s strategic plan. The school system has identified nine essential areas that are the top priorities: school safety, great educators, extracurricular, facilities, planning, curriculum, technology, staffing and community support.

The two areas that have seen an increase in monies allocated is school safety and teacher salaries, said PCS Superintendent Dr. Scott Coefield. In xx the school board approved pay raises and additional supplements for teachers.

PCS allocated $715,173 to its great educators strand. The largest expenditures were for teachers pay raises, extraordinary compensation and teacher supplements.

Coefield said it cost the school system $354,338 to pay teachers above the state matrix. The system also allocated $178,063 for extraordinary compensation for certified and noncertified staff, and $99,272 for teacher supplements.

The school board allocated $557,402 of its discretionary funds to school safety, with the largest expenditures being for mental health contracts, transportation and nursing staff.

Other areas taking up huge chunks of the district’s discretionary funds are staffing and facilities/operating costs. PCS allocated $6.68 million to cover salaries, and of that $1.36 million goes to funding 18.8 teacher units and $1.06 million covers 29 aides.

Facilities and operations is taking up $1.68 million. The largest expenditure is $826,786 to pay utility bills.

Overall, Coefield said the district’s finances are in good shape.

“Strong finances, effective planning and fiscal responsibility have contributed to building a solid foundation for our school system,” Coefield said.