School Board Seeks More Local Funding to Meet State BEP Requirements

June 29, 2008
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Board of Education is asking the County Commission for an additional $200,000 in funding for the school budget in 2008-09.

Board Chairman W.J. (Dub) Evins III, during a special meeting Friday night, said the board has no alternative but to ask for the extra money. He says the state is requiring this local match under the Basic Education Program funding formula and if the county doesn't comply, state funds could be withheld. "There’s a formula the state uses with each county. It considers a county’s ability to pay their portion of the budget for the school system versus what they do pay. We’ve been paying less than what the state’s formula has been showing for a number of years."

"DeKalb County was a circuit breaker system and was protected from the full impact of the full funding formula for one year. That year has passed."

"In late May, 2008 the BEP estimates for 2008-09 were released. These estimates show that the required local match by the state at $3,921,000. This is more than the local revenue in the tentative budget as adopted by the DeKalb County Board of Education May 14th, 2008 and presented to the DeKalb County Commission."

The local revenues in the tentative budget were $3,731,015. The final BEP allocation was released on June 25th, 2008 and reflects the same required local matching funds of $3,921,000. At this time, the State of Tennessee will require the DeKalb County Board of Education to have an additional $200,000 in local revenue in the 2008-09 general purpose school budget."

Evins added "This is something beyond our control. The state has mandated this and we will either have to abide by that or they will pull all their state funding."

The total State BEP Funding allocation for DeKalb County for 2008-09 is $12,083,000 including instructional, classroom, and non-classroom funding. The total required local matching funds for DeKalb County is $3,921,000. The total BEP funding for DeKalb County including state and local funding is $16,004,000.

The board Friday night voted 5 to 0 to amend the tentative budget to make this request of the county commission. Board members Kenny Rhody and Linda Fuston were absent.

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