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Unicoi school board presents balanced budget

July 15th, 2011 9:54 pm by Brad Hicks

ERWIN — For the ninth consecutive year, the Unicoi County Board of Education will present a balanced budget to the Unicoi County Commission.
Members of the board present unanimously approved the school system’s 2011-12 fiscal year budget at the board’s regular meeting Thursday evening.
The total budget is $20,346,257. Unicoi County Director of Schools Denise Brown said food service costs and revenues have not yet been tabulated in the budget, so that figure is likely to change slightly. Unicoi County Schools Finance Officer Diana Cousins also said this figure could change once grant funding that is to come in to the school system is received later.
Brown also said the budget includes expenditures in the approximate amounts of $10 million for school system salaries, the bulk of the system’s expenses; around $1.5 million for employee health insurance; and $750,000 for utilities costs. Cousins said of this cost, $600,000 is for electricity.
Cousins also said the school system did not realize an increase in employee health insurance rates for this fiscal year. Brown said the system is one of the few in the region that pays 100 percent of single-coverage plans.
Around $165,000 was budgeted in 2011-12 for diesel fuel costs.
On the revenues side, the system receives more than $12 million in state education funds and more than $4 million from local tax revenues. Of the local tax revenues, around $2,450,000 is budgeted to come from the county’s current property tax and approximately $1,281,000 is expected to come from the local option sales tax.
In other business, the board:
n Heard a program update regarding the recent release of TCAP results from Supervisor of Special Education Chris Bogart and Jan Sutphin, supervisor of Curriculum — Test Scores. The school district was among the top 18 districts in the state with the highest combined reading and math gains.
n Approved the 2011-12 employee handbook for professional and support staff.
n Approved a speech-language therapy agreement with TalkBack Inc., from August through June 2012.
n Approved a cooperative agreement between Upper East Tennessee Human Development and the system for the 2011-12 school year.
n Approved a contract with Associated Therapy Services for occupational and physical therapy for the 2011-12 school year.

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