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Schools to keep close eye on fuel costs

The Brookhaven School Board, while not increasing taxes thisyear, will be monitoring expenses throughout the year, according toschool officials.

“If you’re talking about a little bit of an increase, we’ll bereviewing our expenses quarterly to see where we are with thebudget. If we’re over, a possible solution is to cut back on howmuch we’re using of different things like paper or other supplies,”she said.

She said, however, that statewide, school districts have beenasked to figure out what they’re expecting to use fuel-wise sostate officials can begin to brainstorm solutions.

“If it’s way out of control, we anticipate it wouldn’t just bejust a Brookhaven School District problem or solution,” she said.”(State Superintendent) Hank Bounds has already asked districts tosend what we’re projecting our usage to be, and they’re looking atit statewide.”

Barrett said of the $775,000 increase in the budget, around$125,000 of it is slated for additional utilities and fuel. Another$80,000 – $100,000 is set aside for supplies and materials.

“That’s why we didn’t have to cut anything for fuel costs,” shesaid. “The new funding allowed us to move funds to cover the costof the fuel.”

In other district news, the renewed agreement between the schooldistrict and the Mississippi School of the Arts covers the sameareas the two entities struck last year.

Barrett said the agreement includes Brookhaven High School’sproviding academic courses that are compatible with graduation atMSA, as well as making sure the two have a parallel schoolyear.

Under the agreement, MSA students must have their courserequests in in time for BHS to plan for staffing and to providetextbooks for any class offered at their facilities.

Barrett said since part of the school district money comes fromlocal ad valorum taxes, the Mississippi Department of Education hasan agreement with the school district to pay funds to offset thecost of the MSA children, since most of them come from other schooldistricts.

Tuesday night in executive session, the Brookhaven School Boardalso appointed Randy Spring as the new part-time assistantprincipal at Alexander Junior High School under new Principal RodHenderson. Barrett said part of the decision to add that positionis to help focus on keeping children enrolled, as junior high is aprime age for dropouts.