School Board approves $26.9 million budget
by Kate Shunney
The Morgan County School Board unanimously approved a $26.9 million budget for the 2008-2009 school year following an April 22 public hearing. The budget covers the cost of educating 2700 students in eight schools across the county.
The largest expenditure category, as in previous years, is for salaries and benefits for 360 full-time school employees. Nearly 80% of the total budget goes toward staff at schools, the central administrative office and in the bus garage.
School lunches and related child nutrition services will cost the school system $1.62 million next year.
Other big-ticket items in the 2008-2009 budget include $460,000 in electricity costs, $317,000 for textbooks and $267,000 for bus replacement.
The major sources of revenue for the school system are local property taxes ($9.25 million), state school aid ($11.7 million) and federal funds ($1.8 million).
About $3.6 million in special earmarked funds cover programs like special education, school nurse services, vocational education and adult education services.
The school system's bottom line increased $1.57 million over last year, while enrollment across the county rose by only 26 students. School officials expect a jump in enrollment next year, projecting a total student body of 2,800 pupils.
If their projections are correct, Morgan County Schools will be spending $9,600 per student next year. The state school aid formula supplies just $3,400 per pupil to support instruction.