PRC School District holds budget hearing

Published 11:33 am Saturday, July 17, 2021

Anticipated funding and expenses within the Pearl River County School District was covered during a budget hearing held on July 8.

The district’s Business Manager T.J. Burleson began his presentation to the Board of Trustees by saying that last year student enrollment ended with 3,223 students attending the various campuses.

He also said that MAEP funding is expected to be less than last year, down $392,357 from last year’s $17.3 million, putting that funding at $16.9 million.

Ad Valorem funding will total $7.5 million, of which $6.1 million will be used for operations while $1.1 million will cover general obligation bonds and $300,000 will be used to help retire the three mill note.

That three mill note put the district’s total millage at 67 last year.

He also advised the Board to expect a $150,000 additional expense to help furnish the auditorium when it is complete. Burleson said he hopes that project will be complete sometime this school year. Some of those furnishings will include special seating in the auditorium. Of the 1,000 anticipated seats, 300 will include fold out desks that can be used by instructors to hold testing or other educational curriculum at the facility when it is compete.

Other additions will include purifiers and other upgrades to each campus’s HVAC system, and additional camera systems on all buses.

Burelson said that currently each bus has two to three cameras. That number will be increased to seven per bus, giving drivers and the district’s administration more views of the inside and outside of the bus.

The total budget was about $36 million, of which $19.8 million will be used to cover instruction, $2.5 million to maintain facilities, $2.5 million will cover instructional support, $1.8 will be used to retire debt, $1.8 million will cover administration expenses, $1.7 million will be used for food services, $1.9 million will cover transportation, $1.2 million will cover the executive administration expenses,  and $1.2 million will cover technology.

Funding sources will entail $10 million from federal sources, $18.1 million from the state and $7.9 from local sources.

Due to the additional federal funding due to the pandemic, Burleson said he was able to free up $2.5 million that he would like to use to help cover the cost of HVAC replacement and improvement over the next three years or so.