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Lawrence school board to debate budget on Tuesday

By Nancy Glasscock · 340-2443

MOULTON — The Lawrence County school board will meet Tuesday to discuss the school system’s proposed budget of at least $50 million, Superintendent Dexter Rutherford said.

The proposed budget is about $10 million more than last year’s budget. Maintaining a $4 million, one-month operating balance will be “exceptionally difficult” this year, in part because of a 7 percent state-mandated personnel raise, Rutherford said.

“When you increase your personnel expenses by 7 percent each month, that’s something that’s going to naturally increase,” he said.

Rutherford said this year’s budget includes two distance learning labs for the school system’s two high schools, at a cost of $250,000; three school resource officers at a total cost of about $100,000, and $476,000 in athletic supplements.

The board will also discuss budgeting in-school suspension aides and additional teacher units, he said.

District I board member Bobby Diggs said he wants to see money set aside for additional local teacher units and aides, but meeting those needs while maintaining a one-month operating balance will be difficult.

“Just maintaining that (one- month operating balance) has been difficult for other counties,” Diggs said.

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