UNION COUNTY — The Union County School District has approved the 2014-2015 budget, as well as an added supplement for some district employees.
During Monday’s meeting of the Union County Board of School Trustees, district Financial Officer Lynn Lawson presented a final balanced budget of $26,902,996.
The only factor of the budget that differed from the previous reading approved by the board was a 2 percent salary supplement for employees in hourly or non-exempt support positions. Those positions include bus drivers, clerical staff, teacher assistants, maintenance staff, nurses and cafeteria staff. Lawson said the intent of the supplement is to mitigate recent increases in employee costs for insurance and retirement. The additional costs for the supplement total $72,750 in payroll expenses.
“Since 2008-2009, the district’s revenue sources have been strained to pay constantly increasing costs,” Lawson said.
Lawson explained that drastic state budget cuts from 2008-2010 left the district’s operating fund balance at approximately $2 million, which he said is a bare minimum level for payroll and operating expenses between July-December each year.
“We continue to look at balancing quality services and supplies, efficiencies and cost reductions in general operating expenses, as well as staffing schools to match changes in student enrollment,” he said.
Lawson said the budget will leave very little room for error, as has been the case for several years.
“With a budget of nearly $27 million that is 90 percent payroll and staffing that is at minimum levels as dictated by services necessary to serve the student enrollment, the key to any major changes in the future is state or local revenue sources that the district has no ability to significantly influence.”