Trustees approve new school budget

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, June 23, 2004

The Brookhaven School District’s board of trustees approved aproposed budget of almost $23 million Tuesday at their regularmonthly meeting.

The vote on the 2004-05 budget was unanimous and no commentswere made.

Included in the budget is a projected .93-mill increase in thetax levy from 45.31 mills to 46.24 mills. That was down from a1.9-mill increase projected earlier.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“That may change again. Our best estimate at this time is thatit will be less than one mill,” said Superintendent Dr. Sam Bounds.”We leave it totally up to the mayor and board of aldermen to levymillage.”

The district’s funding comes from local property taxes as wellas state and federal funds. A .93-mill increase would mean a$100,000 homeowner would be paying about $9 more in taxes next yearand a $200,000 homeowner would see about an $18 increase.

School officials have said they are asking for about $237,000more in local support.

State funding covers the largest part of the budget at with 49.8percent while local taxes make up about $8 million or 36.5 percent.Federal funding accounts for 12.6 percent of the district’sfunding.

Bounds pointed out that state funding is crucial to the survivalof the district. While the city school district will receive morestate revenue next year, it is insufficient to cover higher teachersalary and insurance-related costs.

“When the state decreases their support for public education, itcreates a need for the local people to pick that up in a taxincrease,” said Bounds, adding that he believes the tax increase isnecessary to continue providing a quality education to the childrenin the Brookhaven School District.

Bounds mentioned a state-mandated 8 percent teacher pay raiseaffecting the district’s budget for the upcoming school year.Another hit the district will take is absorbing a $259,000 increasein insurance premiums for employees.

Salaries and benefits for employees make up the largest part ofthe budget, covering 72.5 percent. Administrative costs account for4.5 percent of the budget.

Transportation is the second largest cost in the budget at about5 percent or $817,444, said Bounds.

“That figure includes maintenance and repairs,” he said.