Banner Staff Writer
The Bradley County Board of Education reviewed the 2012-13 proposed budget during a planning session Tuesday.
Major additions to the budget include funding for seven new positions, $50,000 for Bradley County Virtual School and $20,000 for the implementation of Project COACH evaluation model (see related story).
@:The new positions include one special education teacher, four special education assistants and two school counselors.
Director of Schools Johnny McDaniel said the school counselors would be working in the middle schools.
“My intention is that sixth grade will have a counselor, seventh grade ... a counselor and eighth grade ... a counselor,” McDaniel said. “Then, at least, we would have 1 to 400, versus 1 to 600.”
@:Where the special education assistants will be working will be decided by Supervisor of Special Services Dr. Tena Stone.
The budget also includes a 3 percent increase for all teachers and staff.
Rick Smith, business office manager, said about 80 percent of the school system’s budget is salaries and benefits. About 66 percent of the budget is used for direct instruction, while the rest of the budget is divided by need among seven different categories.
Funding has also been put in the budget to install lights for the football fields at Bradley Central High School and Lake Forest Middle School. Complete funding for the project would be spread out over the next five years
Board member Christy Critchfield said LFMS had been waiting a long time for the sports field lighting. McDaniel said the lights at the BCHS field were the original ones from when the school was built.
The total budget includes federal, state and local funding given to the school system.
According to Smith, 65.3 percent of the budget comes from state funding, 34.1 percent comes from local funding and .6 percent is federal.
Smith said the budget amount calculations are based on an average increase in local sales tax revenues and no increase in revenue from property taxes.
@:Smith said a growth in sales tax revenue in the past year leaves the school system with money that can be spent for capital projects. He said the system had needs such as roof work, purchasing special services vehicles and other projects that the board could fund with this money. McDaniel said the amount this year would not cover all of the roof work that needs to be done.
Board member Troy Weathers asked the board to consider beginning to put money from capital outlay funds aside toward building a science wing at BCHS, just as it had for the Fine Arts Building.
Smith said the additional funds available for capital projects will most likely not be a recurring event.
The idea will be discussed more at a later date.
The capital outlay committee will meet this week and will likely present a recommendation at the next board meeting, Smith said.
The board will vote on the budget at a meeting next Tuesday at 4 p.m. It will be presented to the Bradley County Commission on May 21.