Moore County Schools – A Year Of Budget Challenges, Anticipation & Hope

Parent & school advocate, Karin Kent, Real Estate Attorney and Public school parent, Clark Campbell, & retired CFO of MCS, Mike Griffin start off the new year by laying down the challenges and agenda for the Moore County School system amidst strong student growth and teacher demand.

Three challenges MCS faces in the coming year:

Depletion of the district’s fund balance.

  • Ideal fund balance level: $4 to $5 million
  • Examples of the use of fund balance include extending state-mandated raises and benefits to locally funded employees, fluctuations in utility and fuel costs, appropriations to charter schools, emergency one-time allocations, and unforeseen shortfalls in county and state appropriations.
  • State budget is typically set several months after the district and the county set their budgets which can result in unforeseen shortfalls.
  • The fund balance has been depleted since its peak in 2012, meaning it has no “reserve” funds to offset costs due to state-mandated pupil- teacher ratios or any other needs.
  • Allocations to charter schools have nearly doubled since 2012-2013 to $1.2 million.

Ongoing need for capital maintenance and improvements (all of which are locally funded).

  • Examples include new boilers, windows, roofs, technology needs, security and alarms systems, etc.
  • MCS currently receives $1.5 million in annual funding from lottery and county appropriation; at this pace, it would take 50 years to complete 20 years’ worth of needed repairs and upgrades.
  • Based on current age and condition of buildings and equipment, $72 million would be needed over the next 20 years.

State-mandated class-size reductions in kindergarten through 3rd grade.

  • Based on current assessments, MCS would have to add 36 additional teachers to accommodate new state-mandated pupil-teacher ratios at a cost of $2 million. No funding was provided by the state to meet these mandates.
  • Needed space for new classrooms to comply with the new mandate would result in 12 to 20 new modular units at $40,000 per unit.
  • Unintended consequences could include larger pupil teacher ratios in grades 4 and higher as positions are shifted to lower grades and/or cuts in art, music and physical education programs to offset budget impact.



E – MAIL –

MCS Board of Education Agendas & Videos:

KARIN KENT – 910 639-2284

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Posted in All Things Moore County, Our Blog.