ELIZABETHTOWN — Bladen County Schools has wrapped up the budget for the 2015-16 fiscal school year, and recently, the Board of Education met to add the bow to that wrap-up.
“At the end of each year, the finance department has to reconcile expenditures with revenue,” said Supt. Robert Taylor.
In what amounted to a 5-minute meeting, board members made short order of approving amendments presented by Finance Officer Sharon Penney.
Not a committee to let grass grow under its feet, the board will soon turn to the 2016-17 fiscal year budget, but is currently awaiting information from the state before that spending plan can be finalized.
“The House and the Senate agreed on the budget and have sent it to the governor, and I think he was supposed to sign it (Thursday),” Taylor said. “Once approved, DPI will send down specific numbers for each budgeted area, and we’ll have definitive numbers, probably in two or three weeks.”
In light of previous years, when the state budget has been approved as late as the latter part of September and the information to school systems not available until October, Taylor is breathing a sigh of relief over the likelihood of imminently receiving information.
“When we don’t get the information until after school starts, it presents a problem, because we need to hire teachers, for example, and get instructional material, and that’s hard to do when you don’t know how categories will be funded,” Taylor said. “This is incredibly nice to have this in place before school starts. To have it approved before June 30 rarely happens, but it does a tremendous amount toward helping us prepare the budget.”
The board will meet on July 11, but Taylor does not anticipate, even if the governor signed the budget Thursday, that they will have enough time to compile federal and local allotments and compose a budget in time for the July meeting.
“It will probably be some time in August. If not by August, then definitely by September,” he said.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.