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OC school board closes out budget

OC school board closes out budget

By CHRIS MENEES
Staff Reporter
The Obion County School Board this morning approved several housekeeping matters to wrap up the current fiscal year and got a glimpse of the next fiscal year’s budget.
The board met in regular session at 7:30 a.m. today at the board office for its final meeting of the current fiscal year. There will not be a July meeting.
Many of the items presented this morning pertained to closing out the 2011-12 fiscal year and accepting bids for various supplies for the 2012-13 school year, but the session ended with Obion County Director of Schools David Huss also giving the board a brief synopsis of the next fiscal year’s 150-page budget.
Huss said he will submit the 2012-13 budget today to Obion County Mayor Benny McGuire and it will be presented to the Obion County Commission in July. He said he is continuing to examine some areas, such as transportation and fuel prices, and he promised to send a PDF file of the budget to each board member later today.
In the synopsis, he noted slight increases in both local taxes and Basic Education Program funds. The proposed budget also includes a number of building improvements at schools around the county.
Huss said the majority of the proposed budget is “pretty standard, pretty routine.” It includes projected expenditures of $27.7 million and has a projected fund balance of just over $3 million on June 30, 2013.
The budget will be on the school board’s August meeting agenda.
During this morning’s session, the board approved a budget amendment to the 2011-12 fiscal year budget for the General Purpose School Fund to more closely reflect actual expenditures for certain line items.
Huss called it a “year-end housekeeping” matter and said salary line items, including benefits, are of particular  interest to auditors; therefore, the amendment brings actual expenditures for salaries and benefits within budgeted line items. There was no new money involved.
Huss also noted the system will end up $1 million under budget this year.
In other budget-related action, the board approved various individual schools’ requests to carry over outstanding purchase orders/accounts payable as of June 30. In accordance with the Tennessee Internal School Uniform Accounting Policy Manual, the local board must approve accounts payable which will not be liquidated during the current fiscal year.
The board approved carry-over requests for outstanding purchase orders from Obion County Central High School, South Fulton Middle/High School and Black Oak Elementary.
In addition, the board approved several bids for the 2012-13 school year during this morning’s session, but no liability will be incurred or purchase orders issued until the next fiscal year begins July 1.
Among the bids approved were a paper bid from America Paper & Twine of Memphis, which submitted the low bid meeting specifications of $22,264 for 8,800 reams of duplicating paper; several various bids from area companies for the purchase of a variety of janitorial supplies; and the lowest and best bid from Hardin’s-Sysco for the purchase of food and non-food items and the low bid meeting all specifications from Hardin’s-Sysco for the purchase of cafeteria produce. The food and produce bids were recommended by the Reelfoot Area Consortium.
Other action
In other action during this morning’s 35-minute meeting, which was led by board chairman Brian Rainey and was opened with prayer led by board member Tim Partin, the school board:
• Approved a consent agenda that included a monthly personnel report and monthly financial reports.
The personnel report listed an extension of a leave of absence for Hillcrest Elementary teacher Demanda Whitmore; the resignation of OCCHS custodian Joe Watts; the retirements of South Fulton Elementary teacher Joyce Perry and Hillcrest bookkeeper Dorothy Fielder; and the hirings of OCCHS teachers/coaches Richard Cruce, Joe Graves and Mark Jackson, Hillcrest teacher/coach Mason Storey, OCCHS custodian Troy Boucher, South Fulton Middle/High School cafeteria manager Mary Ann Cross, Ridgemont Elementary food service employees Mariah Burress and Pam Finch, Hillcrest food service employee Mitzi King and OCCHS food service employee Autumn Pollock.
• Approved the second and final reading of an amendment to board policy regarding attendance.
High school student refusals to attend Saturday school to satisfy time-for-time requirements in order to receive credits led to an administrative review of the current attendance policy.
The proposed attendance policy now makes all schools consistent by eliminating confusion from elementary school to high school policies, allowing students and parents the opportunity to receive tutoring for time missed after school or during in-school suspension after excused absences have been used. In addition, excused absences would no longer be punished; however, students will be expected to make arrangements with their teachers in a reasonable amount of time to receive grades for schoolwork missed.
• OK’d on first and final reading an amendment to board policy regarding suspension/expulsion/remand, which relates to the amendment to the attendance policy and eliminates the section addressing Saturday school.
• Approved the system’s No Child Left Behind application for the 2012-13 fiscal year.
The application consists of new allocations for fiscal year 2013 and any carryover funds from fiscal year 2012. The total allocations for all budgets within the Title budget are $795,153.
• Heard Rainey, Partin and fellow board member Fritz Fussell recently attended board policy training. It prompted discussion about re-examining the tenure process and examining board policies in order to simplify them for parents and board members.
Board member David Lamb was absent from this morning’s meeting.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by email at cmenees@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 6.25.12

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