News from the Board -- April 27, 2021

Posted by Jessica Wells on 4/30/2021 2:10:00 PM

OCS Board of Education - April 27, 2021 Financial Workshop from Onslow County Schools on Vimeo.

 

On Tuesday, April 27, the Onslow County Board of Education held a workshop meeting at the Eastern North Carolina Regional Skills Center to discuss the 2021-2022 budget proposal, ESSER funding, and OCS summer school plans.  

First on the agenda was a presentation from OCS Chief Operations Officer Steve Myers, who discussed the 2021-2022 Capital Outlay Budget. The capital outlay budget covers the district’s expenses related to maintenance, transportation, paving, roofing, furniture, safety and security and more. Myers began his presentation by sharing with the Board and executive staff that the average age of all OCS facilities is 38 years. He also shared that the district is responsible for maintaining 506 buildings, which is about 88 acres of heated square feet, as well as 1,586 acres of land. The district’s current assets equal $724,985,426.   

Under the current funding agreement with county government, Myers said that the district would be receiving $3.7 million for next year’s capital outlay budget. That funding, along with other revenue sources, would bring the district to a total capital outlay budget of $3,812,892.  
This year, Myers said the district received over $15 million worth of capital requests from schools and departments across the county. Requests were prioritized by greatest need, requirements by law, instructional and security needs, and the timeline needed. From there, the requests were filtered until there were $3.8 million worth of work to be done. Some highlights of the work to be done with next year’s capital outlay budget include paving, roofing, and site improvements.  

Next, Chief Finance Officer Jeff Hollamon presented the proposed local current expense budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year. The local current expense budget provides funding for salaries, insurance, academic programming, technology, cultural arts, utilities, exceptional children and more. Hollamon said that the total proposed budget for 2021-2022 equals $67.5 million, with $900,000 coming from fines and forfeitures, $7.2 million coming from the appropriated fund balance, $2 million coming from disaster recovery funds, and $57.4 million coming from the county’s tax revenue. Going into the new fiscal year, the superintendent’s budget priorities of instruction, mental health, safety and security will remain the same.  

To remain with budget and support budgetary priorities, Hollamon said that over $8.1 million worth of requests did not make it into the final budget. On May 4, the Board will hold a public hearing to discuss the proposed budget and will vote on the budget later that day.  

Following the budget discussion, the Board heard from Deputy Superintendent Dr. Beth Folger, who presented information on the district’s plans for summer school. She shared that summer school programming is required of all NC school districts, per House Bill 82. Summer programming in Onslow County, which will be called Discover 2021, will be split into two divisions:  Adventures and Explorations. Adventures  will meet HB82 requirements regarding learning loss for at-risk students and will consist of 5 weeks of instruction. Students will be provided with transportation, meals, and instruction in math, reading, science and more, all free of charge. Explorations will vary in subject matter and length and will provide enrichment for students who may have missed out on activities such as art, theatre, music, or other special interest topics. Explorations students will also receive meals free of charge but will need to provide their own transportation.  

In order recruit staff for summer learning, the district will be providing daily pay and bonuses for teachers and classified staff who volunteer to work.  

Last on the agenda was another presentation from Chief Finance Officer Jeff Hollamon, who presented to the Board information on ESSER funding. ESSER is the Elementary & Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, which provides funding for schools as they respond to and recover from COVID-19. Some uses of the funding are mandated, such as summer school programming, and there is a requirement that at least 20 percent of all funding be used to address learning loss. Hollamon said that, beyond those items, it is up to the district how it would like to spend remaining ESSER funding, within the uses allowed by law. Staff and the Board will work together in the coming months to determine the highest priority COVID-related needs that will be addressed with ESSER funding.  

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