Fayette schools get $4.25M for personnel

Board likely to hang onto “freed up” money to cover pending state cuts, shortfalls

Although Fayette County Schools are expecting more cuts in state funding later this year, they will get a big shot in the arm this month and next

thanks to a significant amount of one-time federal funding for school employees.

Comptroller Laura Brock said the system will receive $4.25 million over the next two months to be used for salaries and benefits for school-level personnel.

The end result is that the Fayette County Board of Education will have $4.25 million of its budget freed up, but Brock cautioned that this year’s budget also has a deficit of $5 million. She added that the timing of the payments allows the system to get by without issuing a tax anticipation note, a short-term borrowing mechanism designed to help boost cash flow until property tax revenues start coming in.

This is the first time in at least 10 years that the system will not have to use tax anticipation notes to sustain funding on a short-term basis, Brock said.

While the federal funding adds flexibility to the school system’s budget, there are reasons to hang onto the cash, Brock noted.

The school system is facing more cuts in state funding from the quality basic education program, Brock noted. The word at the Department of Education is that the budget cuts presented to the legislature will be at the levels of 2 and 4 percent, Brock said.

Meanwhile Brock added that changes to the state’s health insurance plan will cost the school system $385,000 this fiscal year and an estimated $660,000 the following fiscal year.

This increase was not planned for in the county’s budgeting process, Brock added.

Board Chairwoman Terri Smith noted that officials with a state association representing local school boards have urged school systems not to consider the federal funding “as a windfall, but to save that money and hang onto it.”

“We are anticipating a funding cliff ... there are other cuts coming to the budget,” Smith said.

allegedteacher
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straight story from boe?

Parentandeducator, neither the taxpayers nor the school employees will get an intelligible response from Brock. I've tried it, and the result was political double-speak. And, you're certainly correct about accountability of teachers (and I will interject here that tenure has made that difficult to enforce, at best!); if we educators do not fulfill our duties, we will be placed on improvement plans, shipped to a less desirable location, or, at worse, lose our jobs. There are several versions of the "rules" followed by this boe.

NUK_1
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Great job, BOE

"This is the first time in at least 10 years that the system will not have to use tax anticipation notes to sustain funding on a short-term basis, Brock said."

TAN's are short-term loans to deadbeat governing bodies who are too stupid and spineless to be able to create, implement and follow a BUDGET. The fact that for the last 10 years-which is WAY before the economic downturn and big state cuts-the BOE has been getting TAN's pretty much tell you how terrible the BOE has been in the past as well as the present. It takes a federal bailout to make them somewhat solvent.......good grief.

allegedteacher
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$4.25M for personnel

Parent and educator, I am in perfect agreement. When I saw the title of this article, I had already predicted its content (correctly). We will never see that other three percent from last year, nor will we have the 4.5% reinstated. Interesting that Smith, Brock, etc. can now predict future budget cuts but hadn't a clue when caught with their deficient reserve fund balance, the folly of building new schools sans the population to fill them, etc.

parent and educator
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$4.25 M

Teachers have been saying for years how does a person keep their job that part of their responsibility is financial planning and has yet to get it right? Would we still be teaching if we repeatedly year after year did not meet our job description?
Cuts on the state level have been happening for 5 YEARS!
I was off on the numbers. There is a general fund balance of 15 million. This 4.25 million the FCBOE has decided to keep from its well deserving employees brings their general funds balance close to 20 million. Check with Laura Brock and see if she can give you and accurate number.

Obewan
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Shameful Indeed

My Gawd ! ! !
Why is the Fayette County School Board taking money from those Democrats in DC?
That is bailout money and the result of taking that money will keep all those teachers in the classroom for another year?!?!?!?
We just cant accept that exposure of our collective hypocracy and conservative bent.

parent and educator
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Shameful

It's funny that the article doesn't mention that the BOE already has 8 million in general funds set aside for future cuts, banking the majority of the paycut from every employee from last year. (they did return 1.5%) I am not a math teacher but that would bring the balance of general funds to over 12 million. Moving money around may keep the BOE with in the law but it is shameful to not to give federal funds set aside for salaries to the employees that work the hardest with our children everyday.

Plain and simple Laura Brock is worried about more state cuts so they keep a general funds balance on the backs of their employees. When did the employees become the bank for FCBOE? How long do Fayette County parents think good teachers will stay and work here for less money when they can't pay their bills?

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