|Hopefully, you already read the first story,
"BOE slices budget deficit".
The title of the story is on the mark. The BOE started out intending to
spend 2.1 million more dollars this school year than last year. Now
they're just going to spend 1.6 million more than last year?
Now, in the eyes of some board members and administrators they see this as making cuts. In fact you may or may not have noticed I even highlighted the word cut each time it was used in the first story. I think it was eight or nine times. Only in the world of education and the federal government can you increase a 37 million dollar budget by 1.6 million dollars and call it a cut.
The board of education uses one of the oldest and easiest budgeting tricks in the book. Over estimate your expenditures and under estimate your revenues. On paper it looks like the budget is tight when in reality, it's not even close. Let me explain.
Let's look at their 2014-2015 budget which just ended on June 30th. According to the BOE's budget, they were going to spend 1.2 million dollars from their fund balance which they said would reduce their fund balance to as low as about 3 million dollars. That's what they said.
The truth is quit different. Instead of spending 1.2 million from their fund balance, they will actually roll more than a million dollars into their fund balance. In fact they have rolled around a million or more dollars into their fund balance every year since 2010. The BOE currently has more than 7 million dollars in their fund balance and will have that much or more by this time next year. That's more than double their public projections.
This year the BOE will receive an additional $428,000.00 from the state through BEP funding and an additional $241,000.00 from the normal growth of property tax revenues. That's an additional $669,000.00 in revenue right off the bat. Add the million or so they rolled into the fund balance and there's your 1.6 million extra they plan to spend this year.
I really don't care how they monkey with their budget numbers. If that's what they think they need to do, so be it. But there's no need in thinking they're going to pull the wool over every body's eyes. It's hard to overcome those pesky little facts.
What I would like to hear from the school board, just one time, is that the county commission and the tax payers of Loudon County have and are more than adequately funding our school system and that if there are short comings it may be due to other factors and not a lack of money.