More money

Published 9:27 pm Friday, April 8, 2011

WINDSOR – Education could cost Bertie County citizens an additional $264,000 next year.

Tuesday night during the regular meeting of the Bertie County Board of Education, board members gave preliminary approval to the superintendent’s budget which will call for an approximate 9.1 percent increase in the local contribution from the Bertie County Commissioners.

Interim Superintendent of Schools Dr. Will Crawford presented the budget to the board and asked to forward the document to the county for consideration as Bertie County Manager Zee Lamb works to prepare a preliminary budget for the new fiscal year that begins July 1.

Dr. Crawford’s budget requests $3,151,500 from the commissioners for the 2011-12 budget, up from $2,887,500 given to the school district last year.

Dr. Crawford and Bertie County Schools Finance Officer Lynn Harrold said there were three main differences in the budget being requested by the school board.

“If you look at the budget, the major differences are the Director of Technology, Transitional Coach and to make up shortages in areas from the state and federal budget,” Dr. Crawford said. “With this budget, we are requesting a 9.1 percent increase from the commissioners.”

“Does this include the $500,000 the commissioners promised us,” board member Pamela Chamblee asked.

Board member Alton Parker said he didn’t remember the commissioners promising that amount.

“I didn’t hear $500,000,” he said.

“I recall the commissioners promised us $500,000 next year,” Chamblee asked.

School Board Chair Gloria Lee said the commissioners wanted the proposed budget to be presented on April 18.

“At what point are we going to have the chance to add what we want,” Chamblee asked.

Dr. Crawford said the board had the right to add information to the budget.

“I think you should do that,” he said.

“What does that mean,” Chamblee asked.

“I think you should adopt this as the superintendent’s budget, but make it clear that you are not finished with it,” he answered.

Board Attorney Rod Malone said the board was statutorily obligated to have the budget adopted by May 1 and then presented to the commissioners May 15. He said those dates did not take into account what was being asked of the school board by the commissioners.

“How do we get to add something,” Chamblee asked again.

Malone said he thought the board could accept the superintendent’s budget and let the commissioners know the official budget would be forwarded by May 15.

Board member Emma Johnson said she had questions about the budget and wasn’t prepared to do anything.

Lee said the board could give the superintendent’s budget to the commissioners and meet what was being requested. She said they could make commissioners aware the school board would be changing the budget and remind them there was to be a transition in the superintendent’s position.

Chamblee moved to accept the superintendent’s budget and forward it to the commissioners with the possibility of changing it at a later date. The motion passed unanimously.