County schools get 5 percent budget cut

October 6, 2009 9:18:00 AM



The Oktibbeha County School District spent time at Monday night''s meeting going over numbers, and many of them weren''t favorable as they learned of the 5 percent budget cut they received from the state. 


The district also closed the books on their fiscal year 2009 budget. All board members were present for the meeting where Superintendent James Covington announced the budget cuts. 


"The governor ordered cuts for K-12, and the (Mississippi Adequate Education Program) cut for our district was $208,563, a 5 percent cut for the district," Covington said. 


Other cuts were $634 from the education enhancement fund -- EEF money is set aside for classroom supplies -- and $4,126 in ad valorem tax reduction. 


Board member Cynthia Ward asked the question likely at the forefront of each board member''s mind. 


"How are we doing?" she asked Covington. "Are we cutting back on personnel or something like travel?" 


Covington said the district can''t cut back on personnel under contract, which includes teachers, but travel is one area that may be cut. 


"We have taken a look at other line items where we could possibly reduce some things," he said. 


He said the district did not have to buy a lot of textbooks this year, fuel prices have held steady, and the district''s energy-savings program seems to be working. These have helped the district''s budget situation, but they will have to look at other cost-cutting measures. 


"We''ll have to look at some other line items" because the state is expected to come back again with more cuts, Covington said. 


Covington also announced the final budget figures for 2008-2009. He said the district had $10.92 million in revenue and total expenditures of $11.15 million. About $3.4 million was left in various district maintenance or 16th section land funds at year''s end. 


In other business, the board officially applied for competitively awarded stimulus money funds, approved the district''s first safety audit of the year and accepted the completed audit of the district''s books for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2007. 


The board went into closed session to discuss personnel matters. The will meet again at 6 p.m. Nov. 2 at West Oktibbeha County High School.