Drop in funds not as bad as expected
by Daniel Gaddy
Aug 22, 2012 | 1032 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
According to a presentation by the Jasper City School’s chief financial officer, the school system will likely experience a 16 percent drop in its fund balance at the end of the 2013 fiscal year.

Monique Rector, CSFO for the Jasper City Board of Education, said the school district will have an estimated starting balance of $12.5 million on Oct. 1. That will include a general fund balance of $5.2 million and a balance of $5.8 million for its capital projects fund, which is used to pay expenses like construction of new buildings.

District financial officers expect the fund balance to end at $10.4 million on Sept. 30, 2013. That will include a general fund balance of $3.8 million and a capital projects fund balance of $5.3 million.

Rector’s presentation occurred during the Jasper City Board of Education’s first budget hearing, which was held on Monday at the district’s central office.

Despite the $2 million drop in funds, Rector said the balance is much better than financial officers had anticipated. She said that at one time, they were planning to end the year with a $2.5 million general fund balance (compared to the current estimate of $3.8 million).

Rector also reminded the board members that the 2013 fiscal year will be the first under the rolling reserve called for by a recently passed Alabama law. The legislation appropriates education funds based on a 15-year average of the state’s revenue rather than annual estimates. The measure is meant to prevent across-the-board cuts called proration.

Though the law will likely make the state’s education funds more stable in the long run, Rector said the Jasper City Schools will receive less money than expected this year.

According to the proposed budget, the school district will receive a total of $26.4 million in revenue. That will include $13.9 million in state funds, $2.1 million from the federal government and $9.5 million from local funds.

The local funds include, $3.5 million from county sales tax and $2.2 million from district sales tax from the City of Jasper.

The school system will also receive $650,000 from county ad valorem taxes and $495,000 from district ad valorem taxes.

According to the presentation, the school officials will spend $28.5 million from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30 2013. That will include $22 million from the general fund and $1.7 million in capital projects.

The Board of Education will vote to approve the budget proposal during its next scheduled meeting at 5 p.m. on Aug. 27 at the central office.

Assistant Superintendent Jean Lollar told the board that Superintendent Robert Sparkman was not able to attend the meeting because of a family emergency. She pointed out that Monday’s budget hearing was the first board meeting Sparkman has missed since taking his position with the school district.