BY GENA HUFF, Editor
The Pickens County Board of Education held its first of two required budget hearings August 20. Chief School Financial Officer Jennifer Shirley went through the preliminary layout of the budget for the board and audience.
“Everything is not totally complete,” said Shirley. “Our second budget hearing will be September (10). I always try to give everyone a really good comparison of where we were last year compared to this year.”
With Average Daily Membership (ADM) enrollment numbers declining every year, so too does funding. The ADM is calculated by the state and the count begins immediately after Labor Day and continues for the next 20 days. The ADM determines funding for teachers, principals, assistant principals, counselors, librarians, career tech directors, and career tech counselors. According to Shirley, the total ADM for the county is 2,560, a steady decrease in numbers every year.
One category that was increased in state funding was the student materials categories. This pleased teachers who often must either make do with what they get or fund materials out of their own pocket. Other categories which increased were technology, library enhancements, professional development, and textbook allocations. “So, this year, in ’19, they have made an improvement,” said Shirley.
About 92 percent of foundation funds go toward salaries and benefits for teachers, instructional support, secretaries, custodians, and administration. About four million dollars are spent on benefits alone. “This is not set in stone yet,” reminded Shirley of the budget.
See complete story in the Pickens County Herald.