The Enterprise City Schools Board of Education approved the Fiscal Year 2021 budget and capital plan after completing the second of two required budget hearings Monday at noon.
Chief Financial Officer Pam Christian prepared a presentation for the board and attendees regarding the 2021 proposed budget explaining the figures and from where the schools receive their funding. According to Christian, 66 percent of the school system’s revenue comes from state funding, 24 percent from local funds and 10 percent from federal funds.
For FY 2021, ECS is expected to receive $42,642,636 in state fund revenues, $850,000 in federal fund revenues and $11,984,246 in local fund revenues. The total anticipated expenditures for FY 2021 is $67,926,316. Over 50 percent of the expenditures come from teacher salaries and benefits at $45.5 million.
Christian also broke down the monies received for coronavirus aid and relief. From the CARES Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER), they received $829,160 to be used for healthcare supplies, sanitation supplies, remediation and intervention services, special education services, social and emotional support for students, instructional supplies, technology (audio/video equipment, student and teacher devices) and remote learning teacher salaries/benefits. They are in the process of applying for Government Emergency Education Relief Funds (GEERs), and the money received will be used for equipping school buses with Wi-Fi capabilities, academic support and before and after school tutoring.
The Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) is broken down into two categories: technology and health. From the CRF Technology fund, $235,121 was used to purchase electronic learning devices, such as Chromebooks, tablets or iPads, software and maintenance services. CRF Health funds, $524,584 in total, are to be used for nurse salaries, cleaning supplies, testing and temporary facility improvements, among other things.
Christian said there may be minor fluctuations depending on what happens the rest of the year, but the budget was approved.
Superintendent Greg Faught also presented the capital plan for the coming year, highlighting the ongoing construction for the new baseball and softball complex as priority number one, followed by upgrades to Rucker Blvd Elementary, Pinedale Elementary and Dauphin Junior High, replacing the shingles at the Board of Education building, adding a multipurpose storm shelter at Enterprise Career and Technology Center, placing a metal storage building at the service center and to consider replacing the grass at Wildcat Stadium with synthetic turf.
“That’s not my first choice, honestly. I love the grass,” he said. “But with the amount of play that field gets and will get, just this school year, it makes it really, really difficult to upkeep. It’s very expensive. That grass really takes a beating throughout the year.”
Faught added that funding for the projects, except for the new sports complex, should be covered almost entirely, if not completely, by a state bond issuance. Board President Reid Clark asked if the bond issuance didn’t come in this year if the projects would still be doable over the next five to six years within their budget. Christian answered that projects may take a little longer to complete, but it would be possible.