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BOLIVIA—Brunswick County commissioners’ first decision on the 2013-14 budget continues its fund agreement with the Brunswick School system.
The county board had its annual budget workshop Feb. 27-28, but didn’t wait until June to make a commitment to fund the school system.
The funding agreement, begun in 1995, stipulates the school system receives 36.5 percent of ad valorem taxes collected for fiscal years 2013 and 2014—after all general fund debts are paid for the year—which allows the board of education and school administration to develop long-range budget plans.
Brunswick County Schools Superintendent Edward Pruden presented county commissioners with an update of the system’s initiatives and progress during the annual budget workshop.
The school budget for 2013-14 is expected to be $33,018,049.
Commissioner Scott Phillips asked Pruden if he had any concerns about the amount of funding the school system receives.
“We are satisfied with the current funding. There are things we would do if we had more money,” Pruden said.
He added the only concern on the horizon was a loss of funds due to sequestration, automatic cuts to federal spending that went into effect March 1.
“Ten percent of our funding is federal. We will lose $380,000 to sequestration. But we will not lose that money (immediately); we will not lose it until July,” Pruden said.
Answering Phillips’ question specific to county funding, Pruden said while there are always wants, their needs are met.
“We feel well supported. There are things we could do for the children if there was funding, but we are not here to ask for that,” Pruden said.
Phillips also asked Pruden for confirmation the school system will be able to fund the nine additional school resource officers added at the elementary schools after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Conn.
Pruden said they would be able to fund the positions with continued support of the fund agreement.
“I suggest we move forward if there is no problem with the current fund agreement,” Phillips said.
Commissioners voted unanimously 5-0 to keep the fund agreement in place.
“The renewal of the funding agreement between the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners and the Brunswick County Board of Education symbolizes the ongoing commitment our community has made to public education,” Pruden said after the agreement was approved.
“Both boards keep an eye on spending and results, and both have seen fit to continue their support at this level. This funding mechanism provides a sense of foundation and stability to public schools.”
Board of education chairman Charles Miller attended Pruden’s presentation and was also appreciative of commissioners’ continued support.
“We sincerely appreciate this agreement and look forward to continued collaboration as we support our dedicated staff and work to produce college and career ready high school graduates,” he said.
Brian Slattery is a staff writer for The Brunswick Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or email@example.com.