Picayune School Board holds budget hearing, recognizes students

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, May 9, 2018

An increase in the assessed value of property within the Picayune School District was mentioned during Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting.

District Finance Director Lisa Persick presented the Board with that information during a budget hearing held before Tuesday’s business meeting.

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She said she expects the total assessed valuation of all residential, commercial and business property in the District to be $171.9 million, an increase from the previous year’s value of $169.7 million.

That value is used to determine how much millage the District will request to reach their annual budget figures derived from local sources, otherwise known as ad valorem taxes. Persick said she expects state funding to continue its decline. Next year, she said she expects to receive $16.3 million from the state. In other revenue sources, Persick said she expects the District to receive $10.9 million in ad valorem, $7.6 million from the federal government and $245,159 in 16th Section revenue, totaling $35.1 million.

Expenses are expected to come in more than revenue, totaling $36.8 million. Of that total, $20 million will be used to provide instruction, $13.8 million will provide support services, $2.7 million will pay for non-instructional services, $21,943 will pay for 16th Section expenses and $86,156 will be used to retire debt. Persick said the shortfall can be covered by a portion of the District’s $6.4 million fund balance, leaving an estimated $4.5 million in the fund. If those figures pan out like Persick predicts, the remaining fund balance will still be 17 percent of the District’s annual budget, more than the District’s policy of 8 percent.

The Board also heard about the successes of the high school’s archery team. Coach Jason Childs said the program has been in existence for the past five years and each of those years the team earned the South State Championship title.

During this year’s competition, the team scored better than District 6A school Petal. Picayune is ranked as 5A.

In this year’s South State competition, the team scored a total of 3,313 points and during the State competition the team fell short of taking home the title by about 50 points with a score of 3,295. Childs said 50 points may seem like a lot, but in comparison it’s equal to a field goal in football.

Picayune Memorial High School Principal Kent Kirtland also took a moment to introduce the District’s first winner of the Lindy Callahan Scholarship, Cameron Clymer.