Poplarville school board hold budget hearing

Published 12:47 pm Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Poplarville Special Municipal Separate School District discussed their projected budget during a public hearing held Wednesday evening.
For the coming fiscal year, District Director of Finance Samantha Sandifer expects the operating budget to be $17.5 million, a slight increase from 2014’s year’s budget of $17.1 million. In 2013 the budget was $18 million.
Of the projected budget, Sandifer said $13.7 million would be spent on the general fund.
Funding for the district’s budget is comprised of $5.1 million in locally collected real property taxes, $9.7 million comes from the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, $2.3 million comes from federal funding and $282,000 comes from 16th section land leases. Sandifer said MAEP funding was increased to cover the state mandated teacher pay raises.
Of the district’s budget, about 65 percent is spent on instructional services of varying kinds, 10.8 percent is used to cover operating expenses and maintenance of the facilities while six percent covers the administrative offices.
“We do spend more on instructional than on the other categories,” Sandifer said.
Of the 1,950 students that attend school in the district, 1,400 ride school buses.
More than 76 percent of the budget is used to cover teacher salaries and benefits. More than 8 percent is used to purchase supplies. Sandifer told the board that she expects to spend about $150,000 in new textbooks, especially in English courses, to align with common core standards.
Sandifer said while the district does not intend to raise the millage rate, when the district requests a budget figure the Tax Assessor’s Office may have to adjust millage to meet that figure due to reductions in property assessments.
She said a homeowner who has a house assessed at $100,000 can expect to pay $50 a month in school district taxes.
Sandifer said this budget is preliminary and may change before the board meets to approve it during their next meeting scheduled for July 7 at 5:30 p.m.

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