NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – According to preliminary numbers from Dr. Tim Markley, the school board may ask the county for a 7% increase in funding for the 2013-2014 school year.
Markley laid out his budget proposal to district leaders tonight. He recommends that the district ask the county for $66 million. That's up from $61 million given last year.
Still, Markley pointed out that per-pupil funding is down from years past.
During the 2008-09 school year, the county spent $2,662 per student. If the funding is approved this year, the county will be spending $2,511 a student.
When it came to his budget priorities, Markley said he would like to restore supplements and salaries of teachers and school administrators to what they were in 2009-10. This would cost the district a little less than $1 million.
Markley also said he would like to add an assistant principal and new teachers to Virgo Preparatory Academy. Next year, the school will have more students, when its 6th graders become 7th graders and the school welcomes a new class of 6th graders. He said they would pay for the new teaching positions with money from the state.
Markley is also proposing adding a "director of innovative programs" to manage the early colleges, magnets and high school academies. He budgeted $90,000 for this position. He is also recommending an in-house attorney at a cost of $120,000.
Board members didn't seem to respond well to his idea to spend money to conduct background checks on volunteers. The superintendent recommended adding a person who would be in charge of the background checks. The associate who would coordinate the program would be paid $40,000 and to purchase the software needed for the background checks would cost $55,000 in the first year of the program.
Markley said they likely won't know how much they will get from the state until this summer. Funding is expected to be lower this year from the federal government due to sequestration. The district is expecting a reduction of 8-9%.
District leaders plan to discuss the budget in more detail at the board's next meeting on March 19.
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