The Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District began its budget process for the 2019-2020 fiscal year with a budget work session Monday morning.

Chief Financial Officer Tammie McGarr took the board through the district’s potential 2019-2020 budget for the district’s for main operating funds including the District Maintenance fund, which is the district’s main operating fund. The budget also included the local SPED fund, which includes special education programs, and is funded by the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP), the alternative school fund and the vocational fund. The budget did not include grant funds, which will be budgeted based on what remains in the grant project, school activity funds, capital project funds and debt service funds.

The district’s projected revenue for the coming year is $46,507,864, a 3% increase over last year’s. Projected expenditures are $46,501,374, leaving a $6,490 surplus.

McGarr said the general fund budget was funded primarily by the district’s MAEP allotment plus local ad valorem taxes, which haven’t been reported yet. This year’s MAEP allotment for the district is $22,794,905, $2,281,860 below full funding and $323,000 more than last fiscal year. Projected ad valorem revenue for 2019 is $21,529,866.83, a 3% increase from last year.

McGarr also discussed the $1,500 pay raise for teachers and teacher assistants passed by the Mississippi State Legislature this year. Assistants and some others were initially left out due to an error made by the Mississippi Department of Education. Mississippi school districts are currently awaiting funding for the positions MAEP left out, although MAEP said it would correct its error.

The budget will also include more for athletic field maintenance due to work being done on grass playing surfaces at Starkville High School and Armstrong Middle School. Counselors also will receive an additional $100 to their stipends in the upcoming budget. The textbook budget is also lower than last year, due to the purchase of new science curriculum materials in the 2018-2019 fiscal year. However, at the school level, some buildings showed drastic increases in the book budget including Sudduth Elementary. Last year Sudduth was allotted $626.65 for textbooks, while this year’s budget shows an allotment of $22,675, an increase of 3,518%. Most of the school-level textbook increases are due to the purchase of new literacy texts. The total textbook budget is listed as $228,874.50.

A public hearing is required to be held for the budget before it goes before the school board for approval. The hearing will most likely take place after the county’s ad valorem tax numbers come in.

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