Iredell-Statesville Schools Chief Financial Officer Melissa Wike presented the I-SS Board of Education with an update on the 2019-20 budget at Monday’s board meeting.
After asking the county for a 12.32 percent funding increase for the 2019-20 school year, Wike and the Board made clear that discussions with the county suggest the school board should instead prepare for roughly a 3.73 percent increase.
With the preliminary budget written as it stands, and the lack of federal and county funds needed to cover the funding increase asked for, Wike told the Board that right now it would be required to use almost $2.5 million in local fund balance, roughly one million more than Wike recommended the board to budget.
The local fund balance is essentially the bank reserves for the I-SS School Board. The board and Wike have long been cautious about taking large amounts of money out of the fund balance for budget purposes because it is likely the funds would be needed in cases of emergencies.
Wike cautioned that these numbers are just preliminary because the state has not passed a budget for next year. As a result, she recommended that the Board be cautious when making any expansion decisions.
The Board was to get more clarity on county funding and the county’s budget Tuesday night at 7 p.m. when the Iredell County Commissioners hold their required public hearing on their 2019-20 budget.
In addition, Martin Page and Superintendent Brady Johnson recommended the board reconvene the budget committee that met earlier this year. Page said it is possible the school system will need to find up to a million dollars in cuts if they are not able to find other funding means or methods.
Page, Superintendent Johnson, and the Board said they would like to revisit this subject in July and hope to finalize the budget before the school year begins, if possible.