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Blaming less money from supes, school raises in question

Halifax County School Board members continue to look for ways to deal with a loss of $240,000 in local funding they had banked on when adopting their budget last month. 

The approved school budget included almost a quarter of a million dollars from the board of supervisors that isn’t going to happen, school board members learned last week when supervisors voted not raise real estate taxes to provide the extra $240,000 in local monies.

That decision has sent school board members back to the proverbial drawing board, so now they plan to revisit the budget including more possible personnel changes at a special called meeting set for Wednesday, April 24, at 5 p.m. in the school board conference room.

After attending last week’s supervisors’ meeting when board members set local funding for the school budget at $13,267,529, School Board Chairman Kimberly Farson said she felt school board members needed to hold another meeting to discuss additional personnel changes and revisions to the already approved budget.

“I feel like we need a meeting to just look at the budget since we did not receive the $240,000,” said Farson.

The school board chairman said Tuesday the board would have to go back and look at everything again and see what options are available.

“We’ll have to look at options in moving forward with the (school employees’) raises or make decisions…the numbers change so much,” said Farson.

At the March 11 school board meeting, members voted to give 2 percent raises to all school employees prior to the supervisors’ finance committee meeting on March 21 when they proposed raising the real estate tax rate to add $240,000 to the school budget.

In addition to not receiving the $240,000 in extra revenue anticipated from the county, Superintendent Dr. Merle Herndon and Farson said Monday night final numbers from sequestration also are expected to impact the newly adopted budget.

Farson suggested board members send any suggestions or input to Director of Finance Jay Camp or Herndon prior to the special called meeting, so they can present that information during the meeting.

Board members will meet Wednesday, April 24, at 5 p.m. to further discuss personnel changes and the budget.