Picayune School District holds budget hearing

Published 7:00 am Thursday, May 16, 2019

Members of Picayune School District’s Board of Trustees held a budget hearing Tuesday evening to discuss the proposed budget for the coming fiscal year.

Assessments in the property values within the Picayune School District appear to be climbing. According to information presented to the Board, the valuations are going up year after year. During the 2017-2018 school year, property valuations came in at $171,964,315. For the current school year, the valuations came in at $176,021,568. District Finance Director Lisa Persick said the valuations have been increasing year over year since the 2014-2015 school year and expects that trend to continue this coming year.

This year, Persick she said she is asking the city and county for an additional $56,000 in funding for additional programs that have not been named at press time.

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State mandated teacher pay raises are also included in the budget proposal. Persick said there are 234 certified teachers in the District, and their raises with benefits will amount to $438,925 in addition to an $88,847 for the District’s 47 assistant teachers, for a total of a $527,773 increase to the District.

Of the total $35.8 million District budget, $10.2 million is expected to come from local revenue, with $17.1 million coming from the state and $8.2 million from the federal government. A total of $216,431 will come from 16th section revenue.

Expenses within the District will total $37.7 million, of which $19.9 million will go toward instruction, $14.8 million will fund support services, $2.9 million will be used for non-instructional purposes, $49,377 will fund 16th section needs and $5,269 will be used for debt service.

Shortfalls in the budget are projected to be covered with a fund balance. From 2013 to 2018, the fund balance has had an average of $5.5 million in the account. Projections provided to the Board during Tuesday’s meeting show the balance will fall to $4.1 million by the end of June this year, and to $2.1 million by that same time in 2020.

Persick said the proposed budget will be presented to the Board for approval during the meeting in June, set for June 11, at 5:30 p.m.