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Board amends school budget

The Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously at its July meeting to amend the fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget, reducing the amount allocated to Prince Edward County Public Schools (PECPS) by $805,624 in reflection of the budget that has now been passed by the General Assembly.

Wade Bartlett

The county passed its FY19 budget before the General Assembly did the same with its own, and as noted in the board meeting packet, it was stated throughout the county’s FY19 budget development process that once the General Assembly passed a budget, the county would have to amend its budget as it pertained to PECPS.

“It took a long time for the state to pass the budget,” Prince Edward County Administrator Wade Bartlett said. “Therefore, it impacted the schools more than anybody else in the state. The initial budget is the budget that we were presented by the schools, which used mainly the governor’s numbers for the state.”

Initially, $25,765,776 was allocated to PECPS.

“That is the budget that was advertised in the paper,” Bartlett said. “The school board never adopted a budget until they received the final funding once the General Assembly passed the budget.”

The amended budget reduces the allocation to PECPS to $24,960,152.

“That is the budget after the notification from the state of the state funding that the school will get,” Bartlett said.

A table in the board meeting packet showed the contrast between the initial budget and the amended budget. “Other sources” contributed $954,206 in the initial budget, and this is reduced to $340,078 in the amended budget. State revenues went from $14,522,329 initially to $14,330,833 after the amendment. Local and federal revenues remained unchanged at $8,440,984 and $1,848,257, respectively.

“You see the decreases in funding,” Bartlett told the board, “almost $200,000 at the state revenues, over $600,000 on other sources, and the other sources, as you recall, that was mainly the local funding.”

He noted the schools had asked for a sizable increase in funding.

Another table in the board meeting packet provided a breakdown of school expenditures and how these changed from initial to amended budget.

“The vast majority of the reduction, of course, is coming out of instruction, because, of course, that’s the vast majority of the school budget,” Bartlett said.

The “instruction” category was adjusted by $735,119, moving from $18,872,059 to $18,136,940.