DOBSON — The Surry County Schools Board of Education got a look at the initial budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year at Tuesday night’s meeting.
This report, presented by Finance Officer Wanda Mitchell, included information on the current expense budget and the capital outlay budget which includes money from the county, the state and from some federal programs. While the budget situation has been tense for the past couple years, the school system has worked to not have to fire any employees.
This is the last year the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Education Stabilization Funds will be available to school system to offset budget shortfalls. The funds were divided over a two-year period with Surry County Schools set to receive $2,668,430 this year.
The school system also has already seen one reversion which was due back to the state by July 30 and totaled $1,777,424.
“To this point, I don’t think we’ve actually impacted the way these students learn,” said Superintendent Dr. Ashley Hinson.
The Surry County Board of Commissioners chose to continue funding the school system on a per child basis for the coming year and chose to allocate $50 per student for capital outlay, a 50 percent reduction from previous years.
“We did complete three projects which the county commissioners allocated money for, so that 50 percent decrease we can live with,” said Board Chair Earlie Coe. “I think we need to commend the central office staff on the heads up they’ve had for the last two years. We appreciate what you did.”
Work on the three school projects is progressing with Rockford Elementary and Pilot Mountain Middle schools in the punch list phase with workers just doing touch-ups and fixing minor issues. Work on Pilot Mountain Elementary is still progressing The bus lot at Pilot Mountain Elementary was completed and in use on Tuesday and crews are working on the connections in the building for phone service.
“For the most part, traffic issues and the opening of school has been very smooth,” said Hinson.
The board also set dates for the dedication ceremonies for the new buildings. Pilot Mountain Elementary School’s dedication will take place Oct. 13 and Rockford Elementary and Pilot Mountain Middle schools’ dedication ceremonies will take place Oct. 14. School administrators are working on the possibility of the three schools having an open house for the public.
In other items on the agenda:
n The board approved policy changes to eliminate corporal punishment in the school system. Some board members and administrators said they had received some feedback from the public against this change as well as letters of support for changing the policy from the Surry County Health and Nutrition Center and NC Action for Children.
n The board agreed to apply for a calendar waiver from the state in order to be able to start before Aug. 25. A change in legislation from the General Assembly allows for school districts who miss eight or more days during four of the previous 10 years due to inclement weather to begin the school year earlier. The change allows schools to count days when students arrive late or leave early in that tally.
n The board approved a resolution of support for the Yadkin Valley Regional Career Academy. The idea for the career academy was conceived by Davidson Vision and educators and community leaders from Davidson County. One of the academies would be located so as to serve Surry County. According to Hinson, there are four science, technology, engineering and mathematics academy sites in the state and the new academy could replace one of those.
n The board approved an exceptional children’s contract with Yadkin Valley Head Start once again. The contract is the same as in previous years.
n The board also approved an agreement with the Yadkin Valley Economic Development District Inc. once again for limited student transportation.
n The board approved a request to hold a surplus auction Oct. 9 at 8 a.m. with a rain date of Oct. 16. This auction will be used by the maintenance department to get rid of items not sold on govdeals.com.
n The board also approved a composite soccer team for Meadowview and Gentry middle schools.