Franklin City Public Schools adopts FY 2023 budget

Published 7:02 pm Saturday, May 28, 2022

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The Franklin City School Board unanimously adopted a $21.67 million fiscal year 2023 budget for Franklin City Public Schools as presented Thursday, May 19.

Jeff Ryder

Jeff Ryder, FCPS assistant superintendent of finance and federal programs, introduced the topic to board members by stating that the city of Franklin had adopted its budget on May 9, “which locked in the funding for the school division, so tonight, May 19, we need to adopt our budget.”

In his presentation that preceded the vote to adopt, he noted that the city of Franklin cut its funding to the school division for FY 2023 by $500,000, or 10.3% of its FY 2022 amount.

Ryder also noted that in terms of state funding for FCPS, the state has not released its final funding figures for school divisions for FY 2023.

He mentioned that the average daily membership for FCPS has dropped from 968 students in March 2021 to 939 students in March 2022.

The state is mandated by law to pass its budget, and hence the school division’s funding, by June 30, Ryder’s presentation stated.

“Even Gov. (Glenn) Youngkin said, ‘We must get this done now, Virginians have waited long enough,’ and I don’t think any of us can disagree with that,” Ryder said.

The assistant superintendent then reminded board members of the school division’s status in terms of federal funding, noting that as COVID relief funding dwindles over the next 24 months, it is not anticipated that those grants will be renewed. By fiscal year 2025, which begins July 1, 2024, no more Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund money will be budgeted, and the division is expected to return to pre-pandemic federal funding levels.

Ryder stated that the school division’s original FY 2023 budget request was for $14.3 million of state and local funds, with about $5.5 million of that being local funds.

Using the information he had as of May 19, Ryder indicated that the division ended up receiving a little more than $13.8 million in state and local funding — nearly $5 million of that total is local and more than $8.8 million is from the state.

Ryder said there were no changes to either of the standalone funds of the school division since their original presentation. This includes Textbook Fund 9, which totals $71,007, with $70,992 coming from the state and $15 coming locally. The other standalone fund is Nutrition Fund 8, which totals $884,898, with $774,411 in federal funding, $94,894 in local funding and $15,593 in state funding.

The school division’s original budget request included $6,930,000 for grants, and that did not end up changing much.

“This is our best estimate at the time, so about $6.9 million, we think, will come in,” Ryder said, noting there are still multi-year grants present. “We’ll probably spend about $4.9 million of that and still have a couple million left over for the next year.”

He said that overall, including all the funds and grants, FCPS asked for $22.1 million for its FY 2023 budget and ended up with $21.67 million. He recommended the board approve the budget as presented.

Andrea Shelton

Ward 5 Board Member Dr. Andrea Shelton asked, “How does the reduction in funding impact those various projects that we had, like the bathrooms and HVAC?”

FCPS Superintendent Dr. Tamara Sterling confirmed the Franklin High School bathroom renovation project Shelton referred to is being funded by ESSER.

And addressing Shelton’s reference to HVAC, Ward 2 Board Member and Board Chair Amy L. Phillips said, “So where we were looking at that evaporator at S.P Morton (Elementary School), we have already looked at and voted on that last month to look at that replacement, so we’ve gone ahead and taken care of that for this year.”

“And the teachers will still get their increase?” Shelton asked, referring to an increase in teacher salary scales.

“Yes,” Phillips said. “We voted on that at the last meeting, and we’ve got a discussion coming up right after this on that as well, some new figures.”