School board adopts $29.9 million budget for 2021

by Kate Evans

The Morgan County School Board adopted their proposed total $29,998,331 Fiscal Year 2021 budget at their Tuesday, May 19 meeting, pending approval by the West Virginia Board of Education.  A public hearing on the budget was held at the meeting before its adoption.  No members of the public offered any comments.

School Treasurer Ann Bell said she received one call with questions and a few concerns about the budget, which they worked through. School board president Aaron Close said he received a letter about the special levy from someone that was not a fan of it.

Bell said there had been no changes to the proposed budget that she presented at their May 5 meeting and that was published in The Morgan Messenger.

The school budget ran in The Morgan Messengerand was posted on the county school website. Hard copies were available at the school board office.

Their proposed total budget has an approximate general current expense fund of $26,339,999 and an estimated special revenue fund of $3,658,610.  The general current expense fund budget revenue is $1,474,730higher than it was in Fiscal Year 2019 and the special revenue fund is $835,452 less than last fiscal year.

This difference is from bus replacement monies, curricular trips funds and Step 7 instructional, technology and advanced placement monies being moved to the general current expense fund from special revenue funds this year because of House Bill 206.

Revenue

The general current expense fund revenue includes a projected $5,123,029 in regular school levy property taxes, $4,333,023 in special levy taxes, $812,500 in prior year taxes, $9,834,948 in total state aid and an estimated $800,000 carryover fund balance.

Total estimated tax revenue from the combined regular school and special levies is up $181,043 from last year.

Total state aid for Fiscal Year 2021 fell $348,458 due to the fulltime enrollment (FTE) drop of 75.9
1 students seen in Bell’s final computations. Morgan County Schools student enrollment is at 2219 students.  State aid is based on student enrollment numbers.

Special revenue fund

The $3,658,610 special revenue fund includes Title 1, Title 2 and Title 4 funding, funding for special education, child nutrition, bus replacement, career technical education, alternative education, faculty senates, staff development and the 21st Century Learning grant for the after-school programs.

Special levy

The total estimated revenue of the special levy for Fiscal Year 2021 is $4,333,023-some $82,
958 more than last fiscal year’s estimated special levy revenue.

The special levy call designates $1,904,860 for employee salaries and benefits costs; $1,147,438  for critical educational programs support including alternative education, prevention resources and behavioral, academic and remedial support; $535,000 for facilities maintenance, security and capital improvements; $125,000 for technology hardware, software, infrastructure, repair and training; $400,000 for instructional materials and supplies; and $35,000 for the combined support of the Morgan County Public Library and the  Paw Paw Public Library.

Major expenditures

Major proposed general current expense fund expenditures for the Fiscal Year 2021 are $10,066,680 for professional regular salaries, $2,569,807 for service personnel regular salaries, the $2,554,890 unfunded retirement liability, $1,306,050 for health/life insurance premiums, $1,034,400 for social security matching, a total of $945,695 for retirement plans, $625,000 for electricity, $600,000 for other professional services and $366,855 for the retiree health benefit trust.
Other large school system expenses include $460,760 for purchased services-LEA in state, $325,214 for non-technical repair/maintenance service, $288,937 for professional supplemental salaries, $226,200 for professional substitutes, $192,500 for service personnel substitutes, $204,412 for textbooks, $221,998 for general supplies, $150,000 for diesel vehicle fuel and $149,050 for maintenance supplies.

There is also the $264,952 CMTA energy management program lease purchase payment and the QZAB no-interest loan payment of $66,666 for the Berkeley Springs High School renovations.

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