SP budget proposed

The South Panola School District held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new SP fieldhouse and indoor practice facility on Tuesday, June 19. On hand to take part in the ceremony was from left: David Rubenstein, Director of Finance and Business Operations; Trea Higdon, Athletics Director; Ricky Woods; SPHS Head Football Coach; Susan Woods, wife of Coach Woods; Sandra Darby, SPSD Board President; Kenny Hopper, SPSD Board Trustee; Lygunnah Bean, SPSD Board Trustee; Leigh Taylor Unruh, SPSD Board Secretary; Jerry Cooley, SPSD Board Vice-President; Ryan Revere, SPSD Board Attorney; Tim Wilder, Superintendent; Judge George C. Carlson, Voice of the Tigers and SP Athletic Foundation President; and Chad Spence, Assistant Superintendent.

Photo by Jeff Eubanks, SP School District

By Jeremy Weldon

The South Panola School District Board of Trustees received a proposed fiscal year 2019 budget this week from David Rubenstein, director of finance and business operations for the Batesville and Pope schools.

The proposed budget calls for $47,029,672 in spending next year, a 10.52 percent increase in spending over the FY 2018 budget. Actual 2018 budget expenditures won’t be finalized for another month, but it appears the district will finish the year tight on budget or slightly under.

The coming year’s budget is in line with recent years as 2017 spending was $45.9 million and 2016 was $50.9 million, but included big construction tickets.

As of May 2018, South Panola’s enrollment was 4,268 students. Assuming the district grows to 4,375 students in 2019, the cost of educating those students, including all extra-curricular and school-related programs, is $10,750 per child.

Excluding funds set aside for acquisitions, construction, debt servicing, and 16th Section costs, the figure drops to $9,768 per student. Of the proposed budget, about $28 million (roughly 75 percent of the total budget)  is used for administrative, faculty, and staff salaries and benefits.

Board members will consider the budget for a week and will reconvene on June 26 to make any changes and give their approval for the coming year.

Trustees also this week heard updates on a number of facilities’ projects in the district including an update on the fieldhouse and indoor facility at the football stadium, the new baseball and softball weight room adjacent to the baseball facility, the new soccer fieldhouse, security entrances at BMS, Pope, BIS, and BJH, a new boiler for the junior high building, a new roof for the middle school’s 5th grade wing, a new fire alarm system at the junior high, air conditioning for the junior high gym, pavement for parkings at the intermediate school and Pope School, and the resurfacing of the track at the football stadium.

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