North Pike officials will consider a budget upwards of $24 million for the 2020-21 fiscal year.
School board officials got their first look at the district’s budget Thursday during the annual budget hearing. Spending is projected to outstrip revenue by about $300,000, though some spending will include the remaining proceeds — around $250,000 — of the bond issue that built the new upper elementary school and a classroom addition at the highschool, and expanded the high school band hall.
Business manager Tina Griffin said she projected total revenue of about $24.1 million, with almost $14 million coming from the state, $5.6 million from local sources, $4.2 million from the federal government and $213.000 from 16th Section lands.
The bulk of the state money, $13.1 million, comes under the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, which provides money to each district in the state based on a formula. The state legislature has fully funded MAEP only twice in its more than 20 years of existence.
The remaining state money includes appropriations for textbooks and homestead funding to make up for property tax exemptions.
The district is requesting an increase in its ad valorem tax collections of close to $300,000, which would take that revenue source close to $4 million. Local funding sources also include other non-ad valorem local taxes, athletic receipts, interest income and other small sources.
Federal funds are paid out under the various titles of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, for purposes such as special needs or safe and drug-free schools.
The 16th Section category is expected to have some lease and interest income, but the district isn’t banking on timber income for now.
“We don’t have any (timber) sales scheduled,” Griffin said. “The last sale we advertised, we didn’t get any bidders.”
She noted that the legislature was still meeting as of Thursday, and budget figures had not been finalized and communicated to districts.
“We’re starting with the same amount that we got last year, plus about $35,000,” Griffin said. “We may have to make adjustments once we get the figures from the state, but until then, we did what we normally do.”
Of the more than $24.4 million slated in spending, almost $17.3 million — more than 70 percent — goes to salaries and benefits.
“That’s normal,” Griffin said. “Sometimes it’s higher.”
She said the district is adding a school resource officer to the roster, as well as history and math teachers and a nurse at the high school and both full and part-time tutorial interventionists across the district.
Remaining bond money will go to help build a maintenance and technology building, as well upgrade air conditioning at the middle school. Monies remaining after those projects may go to additional fencing at some of the campuses.
Griffin noted that the lowest quote for general liability insurance represented a 14% increase in premiums for the distict. That line item is at $220,000.
The board will adopt the budget at its regular July meeting on the 7th.