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School budget drops $1.2M

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The 2014-15 school budget was approved at the Tipton County Board of Education meeting held June 12.

This year’s balanced budget has total expenditures of $78.6 million, which is $1.2 million less than last year's amended budget.

The budget, which went into effect on July 1, has a change in total regular instruction of negative $892,000, due to a decrease of $1.035 million in regular instructional equipment.

According to Bobby Alsbrook, business manager for Tipton County Schools, the decrease is directly related to PARCC testing.

“Money was put in last year’s budget for the school systems to get up to speed in technology for the PARCC testing,” said Alsbrook. “This year, I plan to use the $892,000, for technology equipment, and also textbooks have gone up.”

According to PARCConline.org, “The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a group of states working together to develop a set of assessments that measure whether students are on track to be successful in college and their careers.”

All testing was to be online, hence Tipton County Schools increased last year’s budget to update technology, such as computer systems, Internet speeds and the like.

As of May 21, Tennessee has pulled out of PARCC due to testing concerns. Additional changes in this year’s budget are as follows:

• An increase from $600,000 to $650,000 for a “save the children” grant for CIAA. Last year, the school was awarded a partial grant; this year it received the grant in its entirety.

• The budget was reduced by seven certified positions, a decrease of 6.67 percent;, due to 169 less students. The reduction in force was met through attrition and retirements.

• The budget will continue to provide for those employees scheduled for a step increase, which is .75 percent of salary.

• An increase in budget of 15.71 percent from $700,000 to $810,000 for textbooks.

• A newly created position of certified personnel director, with a salary of $83,000, replaces a non-certified secretarial position, with a previous salary of $38,000. Mary Haywood, former principal of Munford Elementary School, as well as former TIF grant administrator, has been named certified personnel director.

“(Director of schools) Dr. (Buddy) Bibb felt a full time person, who had supervisory experience and was certified was necessary to meet personnel’s needs,” said Alsbrook.

According to Alsbrook, the school system employs approximately 1,500 people, including 808 certified positions and 650-700 other employees, such as food service, bus drivers, teaching assistants, etc.

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