The Webster Parish School Board has passed a total budget of about $74 million.
During a finance committee meeting Monday, Finance Director Crevonne Odom took the board through the funds, touching on the general fund, revenues and expenses.
In the general fund, they are looking at about $47 million in revenue, with expenses right at $46.9 million, she said.
“The majority of our revenues are from the state,” she said. “We’re looking at having an excess of about $157,400, and that is with the cut.”
The estimated fund balance will about $4 million.
She also went through the special funds.
“The special funds are a combination of all of the other funds that we operate with,” she said. “We have the parish-wide maintenance fund, the different individual district maintenance funds, grants, school food service and the debt service funds. The special funds come to a balance of about $27.5 million, with expected expenses a little over $27 million.”
In ad valorem taxes, Odom says they anticipate about $2.8 million in revenue, but are expecting sales taxes to decrease.
Different this coming year is that summer school will not be funded. Instead, it will be incorporated into the school year between state testing and the end of the school year.
“The entire state is going to that process,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Dan Rawls said. “They are doing away with summer school. In other words, you are putting your hours in while we’re still in session, not summer school. This is our first year to do it, and summer school is expensive.”
Another area that is getting better, Odom says is the food service fund. Funding is around $100,000, and much of that has to do with streamlining services.
“It is better than it has been in a long while,” she said. “It has been anywhere from $300,000 to $500,000 a year. My hope is that if we’re getting down to about $60,000 now, and we’re raising lunch prices for next year, we’re hoping we may not have to do anything for them. They’ll be able to sustain themselves. That would be a tremendous help to the general fund.”
Another number that will be different is a $7 million change from the 2015-16 fiscal year to the 2016-17 fiscal year. Odom explained that number in the revenue dropped for the coming year because that is the bond issue they received money from for the construction set to start at J.A. Phillips Middle School and Webster Junior High School.
The budget broke down each district fund which includes the Cotton Valley School Building Fund, the Doyline Maintenance Tax Fund, the Minden Building Fund, the Sarepta Maintenance Tax Fund, the Shongaloo School Building Fund, the Consolidated District #3 Maintenance Tax Fund, the District 6 half-cent sales tax fund, the Springhill District Maintenance Tax Fund, lease funds and others. It also includes federal funds, state and local revenue as well as expenses in each one.
The budget was approved unanimously in Monday’s board meeting.