Picayune schools note revenue shortfall

Published 2:22 pm Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Budget troubles caused by the economic recession keep cropping up for Picayune schools.

In response to a question by the board when it was voting to accept the financial matters including the budget report, business manager Lisa Penton acknowledged that the district is suffering a shortfall of about $700,000 in revenue for the current budget.

Penton said she did not have all the data in front of her for the meeting because she was still collecting some of it. However, figures she has received from the county about tax collections, combined with a shortage in homestead exemption funds from the state, has the district in the hole for about $700,000.

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Unless, matters improve, and quickly, the district will have to take out a shortfall loan and go into its fund balance to make up the difference, she said.

Penton said hopefully she would have a more complete picture of the situation by the board’s next meeting.

The board also heard a complaint from Frank Egger about the district’s compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act at the Senior Fair held recently at the Picayune Junior High gymnasium. He brought with him Judy Dykes of a state organization that monitors ADA compliance.

The board told Dykes and Egger that the district is mostly in compliance and is in the process right now of having a few shortfalls corrected. The board and Superintendent Dean Shaw invited Dykes to stay and tour district facilities on Wednesday.

Board member Duane Wheat said the problem reported by Egger apparently had to do with some restrooms not being opened to the public by the sponsor of the fair and by some booths at the fair that had been placed so that people in wheelchairs could not get past them to other ADA compliant restrooms.

Dykes urged the board to make sure in the future restrooms that meet ADA requirements be opened and said she would like to tour the district’s facilities with Shaw.

In other matters, the board:

• Approved most personnel matters, but voted to take an addendum to certified personnel into executive session.

• Approved consent items, including the donation of 29 flats of flowers to the district.

• Approved financial matters, including a bid of $48,500 to replace windows at Nicholson Elementary.

• Approved the IDEA and ARRA project application.

• Approved an Early Head Start carry over balance application.

• Approved the professional development plan.

• Approved the school picture contract.

• Approved an Early Head Start contract for a Family Child Care provider.

• Approved the 1st reading of Board Policy Manual revisions to sections L and M.