The projected $64 million budget for Johnson City Schools will be in the black as long as the City Commission approves a list of needs totaling more than $5 million.
The Johnson City Board of Education met Friday afternoon in a special called meeting to discuss the 2012-13 budget, which will be the subject of a first reading next month.
The grand total for next year’s budget based on total expenditures and ending reserves comes in at $64,421,948. That’s about $2 million more than this year’s budget.
The initial list of needs presented to the both the board and city officials totaled more than $4.5 million before board member Richard Manahan made a motion to include $500,000 for technology, bringing the total to a little more than $5 million.
The status of technology in Johnson City schools was the only budget issue tackled during Friday’s meeting.
“I have an issue with our technology funding. I think we’re setting ourselves up to go deeper into a hole when one of our board goals is about technology,” chairwoman Kathy Hall said.
Manahan agreed, saying they need to bring their technology standards to where they should be.
“I move that we ask or suggest the city provide a half million dollars for technology,” Manahan said.
Finance Director Pam Cox said the budget for all of next year’s technology expenditures, excluding reserve funds, is $173,000. An additional $86,000 in site-based funds is spent by principals on technology equipment.
“Five years ago or four years ago when we thought we were under funding technology we were at about half a million dollars a year, then we cut that in half and then we cut that in half,” Hall said.
Manahan’s motion was seconded by board member Lottie Ryans. The motion was unanimously passed. Board member Tim Belisle was absent for the vote.
Other needs listed in the budget include a 2.5 percent raise for employees, totaling $1 million, $40,000 for the system’s addition of a Chinese program through the Confucius Institute and a request of $919,880 to cover the loss of the education jobs grant.
The board plans to use its fund balance in addition to more than $2.3 million in revenue to cover the remaining cost of the budget if the city approves a requested amount of $1,419,88.
If the city does not approve the request, the system will have to find other ways of funding, which will be addressed at a later meeting.
The board is expected to vote on the budget during its monthly meeting May 7.