The Enterprise City Schools Board of Education held its first of two annual budget hearings at the Aug. 31 meeting.
Enterprise City Schools Chief School Financial Officer Pam Christian presented the proposed budget for fiscal year 2022 (Oct. 1, 2021 through Sept. 30, 2022) and broke down each item in it with the board and the public.
FY 2022 has a proposed budget of $84,954,104 with $49,036,807 coming from state funds, $20,506,876 coming from federal funds, $15,172,421 from local funds and $237,000 from miscellaneous revenue. Federal money is money that is allocated to the school system from the federal government – including CARES Act money – and state dollars are money the state allocates to the school system. The local funds include revenue earned from city and county taxes among other revenue sources.
When compared to FY 2021, the ECS budget will be $16,775,169 greater for FY 2022 but that inflated number comes directly from federal funds that have been allocated as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic and those funds have a time limit on when they must be spent. Currently the average teaching experience for teachers at ECS is 10.99 years and the percent of ECS teachers with an advanced degree is 51.69 percent.
As a part of this year’s budget, $44,722,031 is allocated for instructional services – or teacher’s salaries – with $12,413,504 allocated for instructional support services, $7,302,837 going towards operation and maintenance, $9,623,488 for auxiliary services, $3,540,634 to general administrative services, $2,076,341 to capital outlay, $816,238 to debt service and $1,361,702 to other expenditures.
Enterprise did see its enrollment drop by 227 students from FY 2021 and FY 2022, which means the amount of funding that ECS will get for teacher salaries would mean 13 less teachers for the year. Enterprise, however, is using other funds to make up for that loss so that they can have an even higher number of teachers this year and next year.
The ability to do that comes from $1,426,966 the school received from 2022 Stabilization Funds – along with money from the CARES Act – in an effort to drive down class sizes to help with learning gaps that students have suffered with through the pandemic.
All of the COVID-19 funding has specific dates it must be spent by and ECS is budgeting $13,640,475 to be used through Sept. 30, 2024. Christian broke down each item specifically. ECS will use $105,119 of its GEER money for extended day salaries and benefit and $255,068 of ESSER II money will be spent on math and English Language Arts registrations, stipends and benefits for teachers and student assessment for Math and English.
Additionally, $3,420,018 of ESSER II money will cover the cost of 6.03 units of nurses along with a total of 15 elementary teachers, one elementary aide, one kindergarten transition teacher, 10 secondary teachers, six secondary aides, one ESL teacher, one special education elementary teacher, two special education secondary teachers, an additional counselor to assist with the current licensed counselor, a multi-lingual clerical aide and counseling services for employees. Also, $965,000 of that money is being used for the school system’s HVAC project and 1.23 percent will go to “indirect cost.”
ECS $1,166,263 budgeted ARP state reserve funding for an additional ESL teacher, $166,000 for after school teachers, $214,000 for summer learning, $150,000 for math workbooks, $150,000 for mental health supports and side funds set aside for a district wide student services supervisor. These funds will be spent by Sept. 30, 2024.
ECS has $8,337,994 budgeted from other ARP funds with approximately $200,000 of these funds going towards the salaries of the the teachers being partially funded with ESSER II funds for this year and then $4.5 million budgeted for their salaries next school year and $3.6 million of it budgeted for their salaries for the 2023-2024 school year. This way ECS will be able to keep that same number of teachers and continue with smaller class sizes for at least the next two years. Also, $1,275,000 is allocated for supplemental pay for teachers for supplies, $724,000 software and additional supplies and materials at both the elementary and secondary levels and $836,000 for capital projects, which will include the window replacement at various schools.
ARP IDEA ($331,990) and IDEA Pre-K ($24,022) funding will be spent on an instructional aide, instructional supplies and a speech pathologist.
Special revenue funds make up $20,238,663 of the school’s budget for FY2022. Special revenue funds are compromised of federal funds that have specific guidelines and limitations on the way these funds can be spent. Local school public funds are also included in with special revenue funds.
ECS receives $1,139,838 from Title I, $207,853 for Title II (professional development), $53,637 for Title III (English language acquisition), $84,195 for Title IV (student support/achievement), $1,345,081 from IDEA for special education, $73,636 for career tech, $4,421,561 for the child nutrition program and $406,003 from local school public funds. ECS will also receive money from Title V (rural education initiative) but those funds have not yet been allocated.
Schools that have an enrollment from low-income families that make up at least 40 percent of the student population receive Title I funding. All ECS elementary schools are considered Title I schools except for Holly Hill Elementary.
ECS will be using these Title I funds to provide two aides, one ESL aide and extended day, parental involvement, materials and supplies for Enterprise Early Education Center. The funds will be used for one teacher, one aide, one ESL aide, two retired teachers pay and benefits and extended day, parental involvement, materials and supplies for Harrand Creek Elementary. Hillcrest will have one teacher, two aides, one ESL aide and the pay and benefits for one retired aide paid for from these funds. Also, extended day, parental involvement, materials and supplies will be funded from it.
Pinedale Elementary will have one teacher, one aide and the pay and benefits for one retired teacher paid for from these funds along with parental involvement, material and supplies. Rucker Boulevard Elementary will have two teachers, one ESL aide, the benefits and pay for one retired aide and one contract teacher covered from these funds. Also, extended day, parental involvement, materials and supplies.
The school board held its second required budget meeting on Sept. 2 with no changes to the proposed budget. The board is expected to vote on the budget at its next meeting on Sept. 28 at the central office at 5 p.m.