Schools draft local budget request looking for $5 million in additional funding

Published 12:03 am Sunday, April 10, 2022

SALISBURY — The Rowan-Salisbury Schools Board of Education will view a proposed budget request for the county on Monday, and the request is looking for a big increase.

The proposal is looking $5 million in additional funding from the Rowan County Board of Commissioners compared to the current fiscal year, increasing from $37.3 million to $42.3 million.

The meeting will begin at 4 p.m. at Wallace Educational Forum and can also be viewed remotely via vimeo.com/rssboe.

Part of the increase is making up for lost ground. The commissioners cut about $500,000 from their local funding for the schools in 2021 despite costs increasing.

RSS Interim Chief Financial Officer Pam York will walk the board behind the justification for the increase at the meeting.

The district has to cover state-mandated pay increases, increases in contributions to retirement and hospitalization as well as fund the increases recommended in a salary study completed for the district last year.

Prior to former CFO Carol Herndon’s departure for the same position with Cabarrus County Schools, she impressed the need to make a case for more funding from the commissioners.

North Carolina is one of a handful of states that does not give local school boards the ability to raise their own revenue in addition to state allotments. Rather, boards have to negotiate with local county boards of commissioners for local expenses funding and, typically, all of their capital funding.

In other agenda items:

• The board will receive an update on career and technical education as well as the plan for the coming school year.

This will include a high-level overview of CTE pointing to the success of the technical programs in RSS.

The board will hear about priorities for the coming year including more enrollment, completion, developing teachers, focusing on increasing industry credentials so students will be ready for careers as well as placing them after high school and evaluating their career paths.

• The board will view two policy updates. The policies include demotion and dismissal of professional employees, and suspension and dismissal of classified employees.

The agenda specifically notes the updates are to comply with state law. Both updates include small changes to the language in the policies.

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About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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