School Board Budget Shortfall $634,668.00

By: Pat Hunter

May 10, 2009


Toward the end of Thursday's May 7th Loudon County Board of Education workshop meeting held at the Philadelphia School Library, School Director Wayne Honeycutt gave his report, which included a couple of updates to the School Board.

Director Honeycutt read Highland Park Principal David Meer's official letter of retirement effective June 30, 2009. David Meers has been principal of Highland Park School for 20 plus years. Honeycutt thanked him for his support and said that he appreciated him and he was a great educator. He received a round of applause. 

Director Honeycutt spoke briefly about the proposed budget and mentioned that the School Board had to press forward with the budget and that he had not received any new revenue estimates from the state.

The budget has been trimmed to $634,668.00 but it is still in the red. He asked the School Board members if they had any suggestions that they could look at.

One suggestion, which Director Honeycutt mentioned was considering freezing the step in salaries and just give everybody a percentage raise. That may be good, Honeycutt said with a smile, but once we get rich again if that ever happens, we will have to restore and double up steps that we froze so that's probably not a real good idea. Business  manager Bennie Sims was asked to look at percentages and numbers and get back to the School Board. Honeycutt explained that when someone goes from the 24th to 25th year, there is about a 4 percent raise rather than a 2 percent raise to reward employees. The proposed budget has a 2 percent raise, $340,000 for certified employees and a little bit more when looking at hourly explained Sims.

School Board member Van Shaver asked, are we going to have any budget meetings? We have to wait to see what kind of dollar figures we'll get from state and federal monies replied Chairman Leroy Tate. If you get the money, you may not have to cut anything out Tate told  Shaver.   

Have department heads had an opportunity to have input into their budgets, School Board member Van Shaver asked Director Honeycutt while Honeycutt shook his head in a yes motion. He mentioned that he had spoken to some people that they had not seen one of the budget's like Business Manager Sims. I have not recommended cutting any programs and that probably be the last thing that I recommend commented Director Wayne Honeycutt.

Chairman Leroy Tate had the last word, we don't need to be cutting programs because we will be setting schools back 20-years. Last year Leroy Tate was singing a far different tune pushing for budget cuts and trying to balance the budget to satisfy commission's request to trim the school budget.    

When Director Honeycutt presented the first proposed FY 09-10 budget at the School Board retreat, the budget shortfall was $1,449,309.00. The budget shortfall is now at $634,668.00.

    If you would like to see the proposed School General Budget click below:


Click to view: Proposed FY 09-10 General Budget Fund #141 - PDF Budget Shortfall $634,668.00 Revised April 21, 2009


Click to view: Proposed FY 09-10 General Budget Fund #141 -PDF Budget Shortfall  $ 1,449,309.00 submitted on April 1, 2009 Presented at School Board Retreat Workshop meeting (Note: the personal notes were written by me so please ignore.)

If you would like to see the proposed federal budget for county schools, drop me an email so I may scan the document and post it on this website.