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Decatur schools present $105 million fiscal budget to board

By Catherine Godbey · 340-2441

A $1.3 million obligation loomed over Melanie Maples, finance director for Decatur city schools, as she prepared the 2008 fiscal year budget.

Maples presented the budget, which accounts for the $1.3 million resulting from a state-mandated increase in the salaries and benefits of education workers, to the Decatur Board of Education at the first of two public hearings on Tuesday.

The $105 million budget meets the demands of the salaries and benefits and increases finances for transportation, English-language learners and school nurses.

“It’s a conservative budget based on actual revenue from this year,” Superintendent Sam Houston said. “But it is one of the best budgets we’ve had in quite a while.”

In order to meet the $105 million budget, the board will need to draw an estimated $500,000 from its reserves.

For 2008, Maples projects 65.4 percent of the budget will fund instructional services and instructional support services, which consist of educational activities and support staffs.

This percentage rivals data collected from all school systems in Alabama for the 2006 fiscal year, when school systems spent an average of 62 percent on instructional services and instructional support services.

The board scheduled the next public hearing for 3 p.m., on Sept. 13.

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