A normal work year for teachers used to be 190 days; currently, city schools teachers are being paid for 180 days.
“What we’re looking at here is stepping that up to 186 (work days),” explained City Schools Finance Director Don Hood.
Calhoun City School officials presented a tentative budget to the city council during the council work session Monday; the plan included a budget scenario for 186 teacher workdays with a comparison to a 190-day schedule – a “normal schedule” for years past, explained Hood.
Estimated total expenditures for the 186-day schedule came to $23,853,005; estimated total revenues were $22,574,969. For a “normal,” 190-day schedule, estimated expenditures would be $24,293,005; estimated revenues came to $22,574,969.
At this point, there is a $1,278,036 deficit in the 186-day scenario between revenues and expenditures. The plan is to fill the funding hole with federal jobs funds received in 2011 and money from general fund reserves, Hood said.
He emphasized that a final number of teacher workdays has not been determined, and these numbers are subject to change before the board sets its 2011-2012 fiscal year budget later this year.
“We’re pretty much trying to hold things steady,” he said, in terms of finalizing finances for the upcoming fiscal year.
The projected increase in general fund spending for 2011-2012 (up from $22.2 million in 2010-2011) is due to an increase in salaries in benefits. The system will add four teaching positions due to student body growth, Hood explained.
According to the 186-day scenario:
The largest portion of expenditures again go to employee salaries and benefits, making up a combined total of 81.59 percent of the budget at $14,561,964 and $4,900,596, respectively.
The major portion of revenues - 81.83 percent - comes from the state; the other most significant source is local school taxes at 43.72 percent.
Hood said he is unsure whether city residents will see a change in their property taxes in relation to the school budget.
“We have a preliminary tax digest, but we won’t really, I think, know (whether there will be a tax increase) until we get the final tax digest,” he explained. “My goal would be not to do that.”
City schools will also feel the loss of some federal funding.
Estimated local tax collections for the city school system for 2011-2012 come to $9,878,433, down from $9,900,000 in 2010-2011, according to the school system’s five-year tax levy history.
American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) funds are not included in the 2012 budget; they will run out June 30 of this year, Hood said. The city school’s portion in for the current and last school year came to about $1.8 million. The city is also losing about $1.2 million in federal ARRA grants on June 30.