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Wrapping Up The Year

PRINCE EDWARD — July marks the end of the fiscal year and, with the issue of the school’s budget and local funding having finally been settled, it was a relatively light year-concluding agenda last Tuesday.

The school board continued its belt-tightening efforts in approving an increase in the amount charged for driver education behind-the-wheel fees for students from $80 to $125 for the coming year.

The fees help offset the cost for after school instruction, gasoline and insurance on the three driver’s education vehicles. It was noted that there were 62 students this year. At $80 per student, it generated $4,960. Raising the fee would have generated $7,750.

School board member Dr. Lawrence Varner noted that they are making a big deal over a fairly insignificant amount. Dr. Varner revisited an earlier discussion on the cost for students taking Advanced Placement tests.

Students save a tremendous amount of money getting college credits, he cited, with the tests. And the school system is paying for the test. He offered that “it seems like we’re not being consistent.”

That issue, still unresolved, is expected to return in July for further school board discussion.

The school board also approved final bill payments for the end of the fiscal year. School boards are required to have a zero or positive balance at the end of the fiscal year.

Monies not expended by June 30 are rolled over to the County.

This year’s last-minute expenditures include previously planned purchases including science textbooks for grades K-6, replacement van for student transport services, Career and Technical Center culinary arts kitchen repairs to the floor drain and replacing the floor covering, and replacing the plants at the school board office’s exterior, interior/exterior painting at the middle school, and division-wide roof repair and additional exterior cameras.

Final state funds were set to arrive by June 26 and the school board approved the bill list with the provision that the superintendent has the authority to remove bills should year-end total revenues fall short of expectations, effectively prohibiting the division from spending more funds than received. Only bills for services in the coming year could be pulled, it was explained. An example of such a bill would include the governor’s school slots for the coming school year. (Prince Edward is funding eight slots.)

The school board also agreed to accept a grant and authorized transportation to expand the summer reading program.

Bruce Davis, supervisor of the food service department, reported that they had received a $1,700 summer meals program grant. The funds will be used to expand the summer feeding effort to the surrounding community in the month of July by providing transportation from targeted areas in Farmville for children for breakfast and lunch Mondays-Thursdays. Davis detailed that those under the age of 18 can come and eat for free.

Breakfast is served from 7:30-9 a.m. and lunch 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Children would be fed and returned after each meal.

The school board also agreed to hire two summer workers in the technology department, meaning additional help for the department in July.