The Covington News - - Front page -

de­ci­sions will be made by What­ley, Car­pen­ter, Dr. Linda Hay­den, as­so­ciate su­per­in­ten­dent for cur­ricu­lum and in­struc­tion, and the hu­man re­sources di­rec­tor.

The county’s prop­erty tax di­gest has not been fi­nal­ized, but based on pre­lim­i­nary num­bers What­ley said ad val­orem tax rev­enue would drop more than $6 mil­lion to $43 mil­lion. In ad­di­tion, rev­enue from the state, Qual­ity Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion fund­ing, was ex­pected to drop by $7.74 mil­lion to $85.3 mil­lion.

Fi­nally, the school sys­tem is ex­pect­ing its fund bal­ance to de­crease to $5.5 mil­lion by the end of the fis­cal year June 30. The fund bal­ance is the money car­ried over from year to year that helps cover op­er­at­ing ex­penses un­til the tax rev­enue be- gins com­ing in. The fund bal­ance was $11.1 mil­lion at the beginning of this fis­cal year.

The $9.7 mil­lion deficit would ex­ist if the county keeps its cur­rent level of ex­pen­di­tures, about $144 mil­lion, and would leave a fund bal­ance of zero, mean­ing the school might have to bor­row money to cover ex­penses.

Over­all, the schools sys­tem would re­ceive $17 mil­lion less in rev­enue this year than it bud­geted for this past fis­cal year, giv­ing it a new to­tal bud­get of $134.5 mil­lion.

“Cuts will be made in sys­tem level and school level po­si­tions, both cer­ti­fied and classified, and some work days will be re­duced,” said What­ley in a memo to the BOE. In his rec­om­men­da­tion he asked for and re­ceived au­thor­ity to “make re­lated per­son­nel cuts in the teach­ing, classified, sup­port and ad­min­is­tra­tive staff as well as to the ben­e­fits pro­gram.”

• Ac­cord­ing to

the memo, school sys­tem of­fi­cials have al­ready de­vel­oped a method for de­ter­min­ing which staff mem­bers will be cut, though de­tails will not be re­leased un­til af­ter cuts are made.

• In ad­di­tion, the date to no­tify teach­ers about whether they will have a job next year has been ex­tended from April 15 to May 15. The change made pos­si­ble through House Bill 906, in or­der to give school sys­tems more time to make bud­get de­ci­sions. The BOE voted unan­i­mously to ap­prove this change.

• In re­lated news, six more staff mem­bers will be re­tir­ing, one in April, one in Au­gust and four at the end of this school year. Three em­ploy­ees re­signed, two more will re­sign over the next cou­ple of months and one em­ployee was ter­mi­nated in April.

• Fi­nally, the BOE voted unan­i­mously to with­draw an an­nual ap­pli­ca­tion to the state for money to ren­o­vate New­ton High School. Car­pen­ter said the school sys­tem will still re­ceive the money; how­ever, it will in­stead be used to build a new New­ton High School, which will take place some­time within the next five years.

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