MoCo BOE Adopts FY22 Budget
The Montgomery County Board of Education adopted its FY22 budget during a regular session on July 19. This approval comes after the BOE held three public hearings. This new budget projects $2,000,000 less in revenues than the amended FY21 budget reported; the previous amended budget received $5,312,952.99 in CARES Act funding, while the upcoming year is projected to receive $3,340,737 in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The total difference between these two funding amounts is $1,972,215.99, which makes up most of the revenue difference between the budgets.
The total anticipated revenues for the school system amounts to $15,831,588, with $9,490,987 coming from the General Fund and $6,340,601 from Special Revenue. It is expected that the FY22 budget will break even. The previous budget reflected 25% of the budgeted money remaining because of the CARES funding received. This funding will roll over to the FY22 budget. To continue to be able to fund extracurricular activities and other items within the school system, the Board also approved all fundraisers for the school year, as well as all field trips. The board also chose to spend funding on the replacement of carpet in two pre-k classrooms, which totals $4,038. This project will be completed by McRae Flooring and will be paid for using CARES Act funding.
CARES 3 Funding
After the board meeting, Davidson shared many of the options for using CARES Act funding. He explained that the CARES 3 funding was given with the federal guidelines to use the money to address safety in the school system. For example, UVC lights in the nurse’s offices at each school. Other options include replacing all lights in the schools with UVC lights, the renovation of all athletic stadium bathrooms, purchasing custodial supplies to address COVID (checkin temperature stations), gaining the technology for instant background checks of visitors, and implementing after-school programs. Asbestos Removal in Abandoned Structures Regarding the use of CARES funding for removal of asbestos in two abandoned buildings on the back of the old Montgomery County High School property, the Board had previously approved a $90,000 contract to have the buildings demolished. However, when the demolition crew began assessing the buildings, they discovered the asbestos and informed the school system that demolition could not occur until the asbestos had been removed. Interim Superintendent Dr. Mark Davidson has been seeking asbestos removal bids and presented the Board with the current lowest bid of $69,000. Davidson explained that this price only included the removal and disposal of asbestos and does not include demolition. Vice Chairman Henry Price explained that the Cares Act funding could be used for the project. “We previously had a $89,000 bid for demolition. I feel like with the state of the economy, the price for asbestos removal and demolition will only rise, so we should deal with the issue now,” he said. Meanwhile, Chairman Dr. Jim Paul Poole shared that he was skeptical about making the decision because of the large amount of money that would be spent on both asbestos removal and demolition. He suggested delaying a decision on the issue because the abandoned buildings posed no danger to students.
Personnel Matters Davidson presented the Board with the newlyadjusted salary schedule for the lunchroom staff in the schools. Since it was discovered that the current salary schedule did not match school systems of similar size in the surrounding areas the Board approved the salary adjustment.
The Board also approved a $750 supplement to Zellene Robinson for both FY21 and FY22 for her devotion to the girls’ basketball and track teams. The school considers Robinson a “community coach,” meaning she is greatly involved in the sport but not in any head or assistant coaching position.
Resignations were accepted from two paraprofessionals, Sheena Taylor and Almarita Baker; retirements were accepted for Special Education Director Audrey Walters and Financial Director Nesbeth Blaxton. The Board appointed Cheryl Conley as the Interim Special Education Director at a 49% salary until August 1. Mylinda Moore will fill Blaxton’s post. Moore’s vacated position was filled by Amy Wickstrom, leaving a position open for accounts payable and bookkeeping.
The Board unanimously approved the hiring of several paraprofessionals: Sam Robinson, Kari Barber, Caroline Woods and Jessica Ward. Angela Bell and Dianne Walker were hired as substitutes for food service and Katrina Smith was hired full-time for food service. Antonio Braswell was hired as a custodian.
The school system is currently continuing to take applications for the superintendent’s position and is now beginning to receive applications for the Special Education Director position as well as the accounts payable and bookkeeping position. Those interested in applying for any of these positions can visit the school system’s website for instructions.