By ALICIA LEONARD
The Walton County School Board (WCSB) met on the afternoon of July 29 to hold a public hearing concerning the adoption of a tentative budget for the 2013-2014 school year.
The district is facing state mandated millage increases, unfunded state mandates concerning teacher pay increases, increases in employee health care coverage, new curriculum and common core standards among many items falling under general operating, and expanding population growth in the southern end of the county falling under capital outlay.
The board opened the public hearing and Walton County School District Financial Director Mary Hobbs went over the tentative budget, before calling for public comments. With none forthcoming, Hobbs read the resolution for the upcoming school year.
Hobbs outlined that the estimated tentative budget would be increased by $6,630,759 after the 2012-2013 budget was closed out and almost $3 million in reserves moved forward.
The proposed overall millage rate of 5.659, an increase of .646 mills over the prior year was passed 3-2, along with the proposed budget with board members Faye Leddon and Sharon Roberts voting nay on both.
The total estimated budget for the 2013-2014 school year is $100,317,515, with around 65 percent going to general operating costs and around 35 percent going to capital outlay for building purposes and maintenance.
Instruction and benefits takes the largest chunk out of the general operating budget at a cost of almost $54 million or around 80 percent.
Revenue sources for the district’s operating fund break down to 21.05 percent coming from state sources, .70 percent from federal sources and 78.25 percent from local sources.
The final public hearing on the 2013-2014 school budget will be held Sept. 10, 2013.
To find out more about the WCSB and district, future meeting dates, agenda items and past meeting minutes, go to www.walton.k12.fl.us/board.