Rowan-Salisbury school board to hold Friday budget workshop

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 19, 2017

SALISBURY — Just a little over three months since the start of the 2017-18 school year, the Rowan-Salisbury school system has finally heard back about state and federal funding.

The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education will meet Friday morning for a work session on the 2017-18 budget.

According to documents, the school system has a current operating budget of $190.9 million, with the majority of that money — $114 million — coming from the state. Roughly $35.5 million is provided by local funds, and $17.8 million comes from the federal government. The system also receives $12.9 million for food services, $6.2 million in grants and, this year, is receiving $4.4 million from a technology buy-back contract.

But those funding amounts do come with some strings attached. This school year, the district is required to use its state funding to increase the average teacher salary by 3.3 percent; increase the average assistant principal salary by 13.4 percent; increase bus driver salaries; fund an across-the-board salary increase of $1,000 for noncertified and central office staff; reduce class sizes in kindergarten through third grade; and provide additional leave days.

In addition, the board appropriated $550,000 to increase supplements for principals, assistant principals, HVAC employees and teachers.

According to documents, the district has an estimated expenditure of $188.9 million, with its largest expenditure being salaries and benefits at $145.9 million. That leaves about $2 million in unallocated funding.

On Friday, the board could choose to put that money toward other funding needs, such as an early childhood director, hiring two technology facilitators, expanding its restorative classrooms, further increasing salary supplements, providing a bonus to community and at-risk principals, hiring additional teachers or increasing substitute pay.

Approving all additional funding needs would cost approximately $1.6 million.

The board also has a $3.8 million capital outlay budget.

During its Friday meeting, the board will look at new ways to analyze and streamline its budgeting process. It will also examine construction alternates for West Rowan Elementary School.

The board will meet at 9 a.m. in the Wallace Educational Forum board room, 500 N. Main St.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264.