Despite a rocky projected budget earlier this year which had Knox County Public Schools looking at a possible $2.4 million cut, Finance Officer Gertrude Smith reported at the September 27 board meeting that the working budget is actually on an upward trend for the second consecutive year.
Smith stood before the board with the third and final working budget for fiscal year 2019 which has undergone several revisions. All indicators show that everything is on track as the school district did not face the drastic cuts proposed this past winter.
“We’re on an upward trend,” said chairman Gordon Hinkle.
“Yes, I’m really pleased,” agreed Smith. “This is the second year that we’ve not had some type of substantial decrease in our balance. I think that’s great.”
Currently, KCPS has a total working budget of $50,520,000, which incorporates all funds, including grants. Some major changes from the proposed budget earlier this year to the final working budget include:
- Increase in SEEK to $374,000.
- Beginning balance increased $76,876.
- Motor vehicle and property revenues increase of $208,000.
“Everyone’s continuing to monitor expenditures in the budget with the help of principals, facility directors, the board and of course our superintendent,” continued Smith. “Conservatism of schools…makes a difference. We all have to work together and when we work together, we get a positive result.”
Also at the meeting, Superintendent Kelly Sprinkles proposed three new district positions. These positions are for a fine arts teacher to rotate between the elementary schools, a technology integration coach to help teachers effectively use technology in the classroom and an itinerate special education teacher. All positions will be paid for with Title IV funds.
Title IV funds will also pay for the proposed two additional security resource officers (SROs). Superintendent Kelly Sprinkles said his vision is for the three total SROs , who will be stationed at Knox Central High School, Knox County Middle School/Learning Academy and Lynn Camp schools. The officers will also rotate around the elementary schools, increasing visibility and providing safety workshops.
“Obviously, I don’t even have to begin to say how important school safety is and how in the forefront it is for us,” said Sprinkles.
All new positions were approved by the board.