BOE Tackles Budget

With a thirty million dollar building program on the line, the Loudon County Board Of Education has begun it's annual operating budget process. Director of schools, Wayne Honeycutt, has proposed a budget for 09-10 that adds another quarter million dollars to the new budget in spite of commissioner's request of a neutral budget and for some funds for the building program to come from the board.

Research through state audits and the current budget show that the board's expenditures have increased by nearly twelve million dollars over the last five years, 03-04 to 08-09. That's a 45% increase for a total budget of more than $38,000,000.00. During this same five year period, the board has added 158 new teachers and assistants. (104 teachers, 54 assistants). During the same five year period, the system has added only about 150 students to their enrollment. 

The county budget committee has asked that all county departments, including the board of education, submit budgets without any increases given the current economic down turn. And depending on the final building program costs, the board may be asked to contribute $200,000 - $300,000 per year toward the debt service of the building program.

Some board members including myself, suggested several possible cuts that could reduce the current operating budget. More on that later.

Another budget meeting has not yet been scheduled.