Artesian News Network

Budget Cuts for the 2018-2019 School Year

April 12, 2017

 

The M.S.D. of Martinsville has recently announced that it will be making a $1.6 million budget cut for the 2018-2019 school year. When it comes to money, often times people do not understand how the funding works, where it comes from, or even how it gets there. To help minimize the confusion, we should first have a better understanding of these basic facts.

There are two means by which the school district is funded. One is through property taxes, and the other is through the state. Property taxes fund projects like building renovations, transportation, and classroom improvements. Dr. Moore said, ”These funds are known as transportation, debt service, bus replacement, and capital projects. Each of these funds have specific expenses that can be incurred and do not pay for the teachers’, aides’, or administrators’ salary and benefits.”

The funding for the school system’s faculty and staff and supplies comes from the state and is based upon the number of students. For each student who enrolls, the district gets $5,800. They receive additional funding for those students who live below the poverty line, which is significant in many school districts (including our own) which creates supplemental funding.

One main reason for the cut is because the enrollment for the 2018-2019 is projected to decrease by approximately 100-200 students. In addition, the state has recently changed the way it funds schools. In the future, funding will be based more upon enrollment and less upon the poverty line. This presents a serious issue: a decrease in enrollment.

Although the cut may seem monumental, the effects on students are projected to be minimal. Superintendent Dr. Michele Moore is still uncertain about the specifics at the time of this writing, but she said that all of the principals and other decision makers within the district will be meeting to negotiate and solve the issues that have been presented. “Our goal in the cost cutting is to have the least impact on students…that is our fundamental, over-arching priority,” said Dr. Moore.  

As funding comes from different sources, the cut is not expected to affect extracurricular activities, nor will it affect the schools cosmetic changes or enhancements. Students can, however, still expect to see upgraded technology and enhanced learning environments in the near future.

How do you feel about the way the state handles school funding?

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