Savings should help offset Southampton County Public Schools’ anticipated $1.27M deficit

Published 11:08 am Wednesday, February 23, 2011


COURTLAND—Foresight on the part of the Southampton County Public Schools is enabling the district to save 46 teaching and staff positions despite an expected $1.27 million shortfall for its $26 million, 2010-2011 budget.

“We must stem the tide of eliminating positions from our budget,” Superintendent Charles E. Turner said during a Tuesday night School Board meeting. “This is critical.”

The recession has resulted in the deficit for the district. Part of the reason is Gov. Bob McDonnell’s proposal to give the district $914,688 less in state funding.

The state House suggests a budget even lower than the governor’s, although the Senate’s plan would offer more.

Further, there was an estimated $3.5 million decrease in other funding areas from fiscal years 2009-2012.

“This is not an indictment,” Turner said after the meeting. “We saw this coming and began to plan three years ago. There were freezes on spending. We looked at what we were doing and how to save. The county worked very well with us and permitted the use of carry-over funds.”

This is money that remains unspent at the end of a fiscal year and can be used for another time.

Board Chairman Russell Schools confirmed that it’s “an accumulation of money saved and being as conservative as possible.”

“We do our level best to save money,” Schools said.

“The board was very supportive of our effort and the staff as well,” Turner added. “Everyone has come together.”

Through the use of savings and debt service in the overall budget, plus the rest through carry-over funds, “we can put some positions back in the budget,” said Turner.

The budget will be offered for approval during the 7 p.m. Monday, March 14, meeting at the Career Center.