Bradley County school board eyes budget
by CHRISTY ARMSTRONG  Banner Staff Writer
Apr 30, 2014 | 918 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print

School system finance officials presented the Bradley County Board of Education with details on the system’s upcoming budget Tuesday night, figures that allocate more than $69 million for the system during the 2014-15 year.

The budget totals $69,310,500, and “two thirds” of the budget is set to go toward “direct construction projects,” said Rick Smith, the system’s business office manager.

Another major area for funding is in the arena of personnel costs, funding the salaries of teachers, administrators and staff.

While the budget includes millions of dollars set aside for various purposes, Smith said the budget was negatively impacted this year because of a projected loss in funding.

“It is actually a slight decrease from last year,” Smith said.

He said estimates from the county property tax assessor’s office show no growth in projected tax revenue for the 2014-15 fiscal year. Sales tax figures have been projected to increase by 1.5 percent when compared to the 2013-14 year, but Smith said that has not been reflected in the 2014-15 budget due to the uncertainty of those estimates.

The Bradley County school system’s budget projects a 0.5 percent decline in local revenue and a 1 percent decline in state revenue. However, federal revenue is set to increase by 4.8 percent.

“This results in an overall decline of 0.8 percent in revenues,” Smith said.

While he called this year’s budget “challenging,” Smith said he believes it is “balanced” and “fiscally responsible.” 

The school board did not discuss the budget at Tuesday night’s meeting, as it was set aside to serve as a presentation to school board members. However, Vice Chair Nicolas Lillios said there did not immediately appear to be any “major changes.” 

“It was a status quo budget, one that will at least maintain the status quo for how things have been done,” Lillios said.

Smith said work on the budget began in February after other school officials made their requests to the business office.

The school board plans to meet May 13 at 9 a.m., at the school system’s central office to discuss the budget before it is submitted to the Bradley County Commission for approval.

The Bradley County Schools system must have its final budget requests turned into the Commission by May 16, and school officials are set to meet with the Commission on May 19 at noon, for the system’s annual budget hearing.

More details on the county school system’s proposed budget will be in Thursday’s issue of the Banner.