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Committee OKs budget for schools

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BY AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

NASHVILLE — The finance committee of the Nash-Rocky Mount Board of Education met Tuesday to approve a draft of a 2019-20 budget proposal to present to Nash County commissioners at 6 p.m. on April 30 in the Brown Auditorium at Nash Community College.

The 2019-20 $147 million proposed budget is based on receiving $23,545,619 for current expenses from local sources of revenue including $20,500,261 expected from Nash County, $2.188,320 expected from Edgecombe County, $417,038 expected from the city of Rocky Mount and $440,000 expected from other local sources of revenue such as county fines and forfeitures.

This will be the last budget year that the city of Rocky Mount will contribute to the school district budget under Senate Bill 382, which was adopted in 2016. 

A new ask from Nash County commissioners in this year’s budget proposal is more funding for security measures at elementary schools, an issue that has been presented as a concern of parents at several meeting this year. The Nash-Rocky Mount school board is planning to ask for roughly $558,000 to add some school resource officers at elementary schools in the coming year and wants to see that amount increased to an annual amount of nearly $1,674,000 by four years from now. 

The proposal also contains a one-time request of $67,500 over the next three years to provide line-free IP security cameras at 15 elementary schools in the district. Swift Creek Elementary School already has security cameras installed as part of a pilot project. 

The finance committee did not discuss the budget woes of this calendar year or where they will get the money to make up the roughly $800,000 expected budget shortfall. In an interview after the finance committee meeting adjourned, school board Chairman Franklin Lamm said the issue is still being negotiated with Nash County commissioners in private meetings.

“We are still negotiating with Nash County commissioners and think we have reached a potential solution, but it has to be approved by county commissioners. We should have an answer by the May 6 school board meeting,” Lamm said.

The budget also does not contain any provisions for the changes to the name of the school district. According to Senate Bill 382, “beginning July 1, 2020, the "Nash-Rocky Mount School Administrative Unit" shall be named the "Nash School Administrative Unit," and the "Nash-Rocky Mount Board of Education" shall be the "Nash Board of Education." Because of this provision, the school district will need to adopt a new logo and change the names on buses, fleet vehicles, websites and other property of the school district.

“We have a full year to plan and project that so it is not embedded in this budget,” Superintendent Shelton Jefferies said. “That will need to be a separate ask.”

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