Washington County, Tennessee Director of Schools Ron Dykes is looking over a school budget that's millions of dollars in the red.
"It's about three point eight out of balance currently," he said Thursday.
He tells us the school system is dealing with nearly two million in lost revenue and losses of some program federal dollars. Plus there are new needs to support the curriculum and maintenance. Also in the proposed budget: pay raises.
"There is a long overdue increase for all personnel, teachers and support staff," Dykes said. "That's about one point two million to take care of the step increase as well as the two percent raise that's associated with it."
Dykes says schools have also lost about 50 students system wide. To battle the unbalance, he says a source of immediate revenue may be that the system maintained its fund balance last school year. "We currently are looking at a two million dollar fund balance approximately," Dykes said. "That will help us somewhat if we have to apply that toward next year's budget."
Another help: Dykes hopes some new revenue can be found by the county commission. "In all likelihood, it would have to be a re-allocation of current funds," Dykes said. "But I hope the budget committee is looking at that potential as well. Our biggest need is additional operating expenses being covered, day to day operations rather than one time expenditures."
Fortunately Dykes says, there's still a little budget balancing time left. "We have to have a balanced budget by October 1st," he said.