Franklin schools budgeting for $18.09M

Published 10:28 am Friday, April 13, 2018

On Tuesday evening, Supt. Tamara Sterling made the case on behalf of the Franklin City Public Schools’ proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2018-2019. Specifically, $18,094,497 is needed to meet annual and projected needs next school year. This is $1.19M more than last year. Sterling gave her presentation to the City Council and in the Franklin Business Center with the School Board in attendance.

From the city, though, she is asking for $5,729,200, a difference of $691,805 from the council-approved level funding of $4.9M last May 23. An extra $50K had also been granted then to partially fund employee raises.

Other major sources of revenue are to come from the state ($7.03M;) federal ($2.57M;) and sales taxes ($1.49M.) Other monies are anticipated from cafeteria, medicaid, textbook and other revenue sources, such as rebates, fees and facility rentals.

As always, the majority of money ($10.09M) will be dedicated for instruction, such as faculty salaries. Speaking of which, a 2 percent raise for all employees is included in the budget and would require $152,200.

“The school Board is ardent in ensuring that the division offers competitive compensation for all employees,” said Sterling.

Federally mandated programs will need $2.57M. Administration, attendance and health will take up $1.19M. Sterling added that there will be an estimated 5 percent increase ($67K) in the cost for health care benefits. She has a request for proposal out at this time to help with that expense.

Operations and maintenance are figured at $1.62M. Of the latter, the superintendent said there is a “desperate need” for electrical upgrades at Franklin High School. The student parking lot there also needs resurfacing. The price tags are $30K and $50K respectively.

The hope is to get English, math, Spanish and gifted teachers for J.P. King Jr. Middle School, each at $55K. Three school security guards for each building would cost $60K, as would a psychologist to support the Special Education Department.

For technology needs, the request is $13K for the VPSA eBackpack Grant local match. That would enable the implementation of a 1:1 computer initiative, computer coding at the elementary school and online learning at FHS.

TheVPSA Security Grant local match is $25K, and would enable the division to upgrade software in all classrooms for cameras when there is a crisis situation.

Following her presentation, council members asked questions. Mayor Frank Rabil, for example, asked if there’s any projected carryover from this fiscal year. Sterling said, but didn’t have a number readily available.

The date for council to approve the school budget has yet to be announced.