$24 million budget on table for Polk Schools

Published 12:32 pm Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Polk County Schools Board of Education will be asked by administrators to put its stamp on a proposed $24 million budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year.

The budget will include requests of nearly $400,000 be appropriated from the districts fund balance to make up for cuts to the N.C. Virtual Public School at the state level and to offset funding for the Lake Lure Classical Academy (LLCA) charter school.

We asked for $200,000 from the fund balance last year and didnt use it, so were going to ask that they roll that money over along with an additional $184,230 to balance and complete this year, said Polk County Schools Superintendent Bill Miller.

Given that we do not know our final budget from the state, we are making sure we have enough money. If this money is not needed, as it wasnt last year, then we will return it to the fund balance.

But Miller and chief financial officer Charlotte Sullivan said they expect to have to use money from the fund balance to get through this year.

The district will pay $171,000 in local funds for 67 Polk County residents attending LLCA and has been mandated by the state to pay $176,000 to fund the N.C. Virtual Public School.

Some federal stimulus money currently being used by the state and filtering to the school districts will also expire in June.

The district is also expected to receive $539,000 through the Federal Education Jobs program, and the board will be asked to decide whether to use those funds immediately or save the money for use in covering shortfalls in next years budget.

Miller said he will ask the board to save the money and apply it next year. Those funds must be used by 2012.

Overall, Miller said the budget process is a struggle as it is most everywhere in tough economic times.

Were doing everything we can do to keep programs and people in place by cutting along the borders, Miller said. Were fighting through this a lot like most any business in America these days.