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SSD begins hearings on 2014 budget


Starkville School District Superintendent Dr. Lewis Holloway

Starkville School District Superintendent Dr. Lewis Holloway





The Starkville School District Board of Trustees held its first hearing Tuesday night on the district's budget for Fiscal Year 2014. 


The review included a breakdown of more than $45 million in projected expenditures and $46 million in projected revenue for the upcoming year.  


Around 150 additional students are expected to be roaming the halls of schools in the district this year, but even so, revenue and spending are down about $2 million from last year's numbers. The increase in students should bring enrollment to 4,267. 


According to SSD Business Manager Rob Logan, the $2 million discrepancy in the budget for FY2013 is due to a tax anticipation note (TAN), that has yet to be applied for use in FY2014, but still could be. 


"The majority of our local money comes from January until April. As the year goes along into October and November, your money starts slimming down," Logan said. "So sometimes we need to borrow these tax anticipation notes in order to cover expenses." 


Logan added, that there would be a big push to ensure the district had a surplus in the coming years, so borrowing the TAN notes wouldn't be necessary.  


SSD Superintendent Lewis Holloway acknowledged that because of state funding cuts, avoiding the need to borrow money has been difficult. The SSD has lost $9 million in state funding over the last five years, he noted.  


"At the end of this year, we think we are going to have around $700,000 to $600,000 in revenue over expenses," Holloway said. "The obvious goal is to try and build a fund balance that will take us out of this pattern of having to borrow money at the beginning of the year."  


The state makes up nearly half of SSD's projected revenue for FY2014 with $17,493,821 in Mississippi Adequate Education Program allocation, but with the local millage rate at 62.96 for 2013-2014, the SSD will collect $18,341,111 in local money.  


About 52 percent or $22,208,575 of the $45,558,358 in projected expenses is set to go instruction, while about $14,119,026 is expected to go toward support services. Other expenditures include around $3 million in debt service and $3 million in non-instructional services.  


The majority of the budget dedicated to staff, technology and infrastructure is focused on the elementary schools due to the increased enrollment. Sudduth Elementary still needs to hire three more teachers, which is expected to cost about $135,000 in salaries and benefits. Software expansion needs at Henderson Elementary and Ward Stewart Elementary could cost around $50,000.  


With only two board members present, no action was taken on the proposed budget.




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