LOGAN - The Logan County Board of Education met in special session Thursday to discuss their proposed budget for fiscal year 2020.
John Brennan, CPA, the BOE's chief school business official, addressed the board members for about an hour on topics including the school permanent improvement fund, additional counselors and social workers, tax collections and how to keep finances in order. He also fielded questions from members about how the new budget might affect anything, such as the take-home food bag program schools offer in the county.
The board's proposed total WVEIS-approved budget for 2020 after all accounts and line items are tallied is $69,135,584.54, a number that can change when future factors, such as grant awards, are tallied in. According to Brennan, tax collections are about $17 million, compared to $22 million in April 2014. He said that even though tax collections are down, they have stabilized from last year to this year.
The board's counsel, Stephanie Abraham, asked Brennan how much of the money in the budget they can give for requests. He responded that the money has to be spent carefully because there is not much room for discretionary spending, and he also noted that the board isn't legally allowed to fulfill most requests anyway.
He also addressed an issue that was brought up by member Jeremy Farley at a meeting of the BOE several weeks ago regarding lost revenue from four coal companies that filed bankruptcy, which Farley said cost the county around $2.8 million in revenue, with $1.8 million of that directly impacting Logan County Schools. Brennan said he feels the problem will only get worse with the continued decline of the coal industry, but added that the BOE can stay financially afloat as long as they "stay ahead of the curve" with employees.
"That's where most people - they'll have a big drop in their population and they don't cut any of their employees," Brennan said. "You're just not getting any money to pay them."
Brennan later remarked that he believes Logan County Schools is one of the most financially stable school boards in the state.
In the general current expense fund, total estimated revenues are $58,962,608. Of that, $17,350,610 is estimated to come from property taxes; $813,000 from other local sources; $38,081,098 from state aid to schools; and $520,000 from other unrestricted state sources. The estimated beginning balance is $1,949,400.
In estimated expenditures in the general fund, there is a total of $58,962,608, with $36,484,090 of that coming from instruction. Supporting services costs include:
n Students: $1,512,579
n Instructional staff: $1,256,311
n Central administration: $848,862
n School administration: $3,670,389
n Central services: $991,631
n Operation and maintenance of facilities: $8,025,957
n Student transportation: $5,507,513
n Community services: $193,000
In the special revenue fund, total estimated revenues and expenditures total $10,172,977. Of that, $15,000 is estimated to come from local sources; $2,522,979 from other state sources; and $7,411,222 from federal sources. The estimated transfers in and other financing sources is $223,776.
Instruction expenditures in the special fund are estimated to total $3,547,352. Supporting services costs include:
n Students: $181,130
n Instructional staff: $362,313
n Central administration: $51,238
n Student transportation: $607,105
n Food services: $2,574,868
A portion of funding for Logan County Schools in the next fiscal year will be provided by the new school bond levy, which was passed by voters Feb. 16. This levy goes into effect July 1 and will be worth $8,913,130 annually through 2023. That number is nearly $3 million less than the previous levy, which was worth $11,773,982 annually.
Dylan Vidovich is a news reporter for HD Media. Contact him by phone at 304-896-5196 or follow him on Twitter @DVidovichLB.