Officials from Clinton City Schools have been formulating and running through numbers since Gov. Pat McCrory signed a $21.25 billion state budget. But they still have work to do when it comes to finances for the district.
During a Wednesday Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Stuart Blount and Clyde Locklear,assistant superintendent of finances, updated the board on the matter.
Locklear reported that the expected ADM, or Average Daily Membership, allocation is $880 per student and mentioned teacher pay raises. It was previously stated that the raises would be around 7 percent.
“But if you look at the schedule, the raises will actually vary from roughly 2 percent to as high as an 18 percent rate for some individuals, depending on where they fall in the scale,” Locklear pointed out.
Along with the increase, longevity payments have been rolled into the salary schedule.
Locklear said an interesting change was the administrator’s salary schedule.
“In the past that salary schedule has been tied to a teacher’s schedule, so they ran hand in hand,” he said. “That is no longer the case.”
He said school administrators, predominately principals and assistant principals, will get about a 2 percent increase.
“In some cases, school administrators will make less than teachers,” he acknowledged. “If the salary schedule continues as it is, that will continue to grow. You will make more money in the classroom, than coming out to be a school administrator.”
All other school employees are expected to receive a $500 pay increase. The money will be divided by the number of months of employment.
Teacher assistants are another important matter. Allotments for the TAs has been reduced to roughly 22 percent. Locklear said he anticipated that the city schools’ portion of the reduction is about $219,000.
“The funding for teacher assistants has been moved to increase teacher positions and the legislators did change the formula for allocating teachers in grades K through 3,” he said. “That will generate some teaching positions for Clinton City Schools and other districts around the state.”
The allotment for the central office is being cut by about 3 percent. That amount is about $14,000. At-risk funding is being cut by 3 percent also, which is between $18,000 and $19,000.
The district is waiting to receive official allotments next week, after the Department of Public Instruction works with the figures.
“From there we’ll have some more definitive information on staffing and reductions in various programs,” Locklear said.
The district is awaiting the federal budget as well.
“Federal budgets generally do not come along until September or the middle of October,” Locklear said. “We have another 60 days or so until we’ll have definite information on our federal budgets and allotments.”
Another topic included a technical correction or revision plan has not been finalized. Part of the technical correction deals with funding for public schools.
“The ways that public schools are funded in the future will change dramatically,” Blount said.
Blount said North Carolina public schools received a planning allotment in the spring, based on an estimation of the student population.
“That planning allotment allows school systems to begin their budgetary process to determine the needs and the program services,” Blount said.
With the new budget that has been passed, the planning allotments are expected to go away.
“What that potentially means is that we will not receive planning allotments,” Blount said. “We cannot start our budget process until the North Carolina General Assembly finishes their budget.”
“We’ll be making decisions as a school system completely behind the eight ball,” Blount said.
Blount and Locklear said they will keep the board informed about upcoming budget matters.
“We’re hoping that the technical correction piece will be signed,” he said. “Part of that correction in there is going back to a planning allotment.”
Board attorney Nicholas Sojka also piggybacked on the matter from a historical perspective.
“I know that planning allotment system has been in place since the 1930s,” Sojka said. “It’s a Depression era initiative from the state. It’s been on the books that long.”