School Board Gets a Clearer Look at Budget Pinch
Moore County school officials are getting a clearer picture of the impact the newly adopted state budget will have on the district.
Superintendent Susan Purser told the Moore County Board of Education Monday that new information from the state's Department of Public Instruct-ion (DPI) suggests that state funds received last year could be down by as much as $3 million from last year's total. Of that, $1.9 million is couched as a discretionary reduction.
Even though the cuts are less than initially anticipated, Purser said the system continues to stick to its philosophy of making reductions in the central administration to push as much funding as possible into the schools. Purser reiterated that the system would not put any additional money into its central staff in light of the new figures.
"Based on what we've been able to determine at this time," she said, "we will look to allocate some additional teaching positions to our schools. We're still working through the fine details, but it does appear that we will be able to in fact assign some additional teaching positions."
With respect to federal stimulus money, the school system anticipates it will be able to allocate some teaching assistant positions to its Title I schools. Title I schools are identified as having a certain percentage of economically disadvantaged students. But federal stimulus money is good for only two years.
"I think the board has been very clear that you put classroom teachers at the pinnacle because that's where the instruction of children happens," Purser said.
Purser cautioned that there are still a lot of unanswered questions regarding the budget and that the system was awaiting finalized numbers from DPI.
Board Chairwoman Kathy Farren said she was appreciative of the staff's hard work.
In other business, it was noted that the School Safety Advocacy Council presented the Moore County Schools Special Police with its National Exemplary School Safety Award last month in Orlando.
Only 10 agencies, including police departments, sheriffs' departments and other law enforcement entities, were awarded the honor. It was the only organization from North Carolina recognized.
"We appreciate the job you all do every day for the safety of our staff and our students," Farren said, "but also the work you do with our students to keep them engaged, to keep them in school and to try to keep them on the right track."
Contact John Krahnert III at 693-2473 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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