Schools Present Budget to Commissioners
The Moore County school system presented a $26,726,195 budget proposal to the Board of Commissioners Monday night.
The budget reflects a 7.64 percent increase over the appropriation approved for the current year, or almost $1.9 million more.
The commissioners thanked the Board of Education, Superinten-dent Susan Purser and Finance Director Michael Griffin for the presentation but, in keeping with policy, made no commitment about approval of the budget.
Of the requested county appropriations, the schools are asking for $25.5 million in current expense budget and $1.1 million for capital outlay.
Purser told the commissioners that more than $1 million dollars of the request constitutes expenses over which the schools have no control. Among those items are increases in the cost of utilities and energy, expected increases in operation of new and expanded facilities and pay raises that the county must match for locally-paid personnel if the legislature approves pay raises later this year.
"We are about children," Purser said as she introduced the budget.
Purser called attention to the need to expand support in schools throughout the system. These needs include two elementary health teachers, an additional half-time arts education position, two additional sixth grade teachers at Southern Middle's sixth grade academy and English as a Second Language parent support.
Other support services were described as five half-time media (library) assistants, high school counselors to provide 12-month coverage, high school office support for an additional month at each school and two custodians. Purser said there is a need to expand assistant principal positions, one at Union Pines High School, conversion of a half-time position at North Moore High and Sandhill Farm Life to full time and one at Southern Middle.
The budget request also calls for a $50 a month increase in travel allowance for principals because of increased gas prices.
Griffin added that the schools will not receive final numbers from the state until later in the year.
In introducing Purser, Board of Education Chair Lorna Clack told the commissioners not to be fooled by Purser's small size.
"She may be little, but she's a fireball of energy," Clack said.
Contact Florence Gilkeson at 947-4962 or by e-mail at florence @thepilot.com.
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