County hears school funds request

By Russell Hood The Webster Progress-Times

WALTHALL — Supervisors heard a request last week to provide additional funding for the Webster County School District

Superintendent of Education Jack Treloar met with the Board of Supervisors on June 25 to discuss the school system’s proposed budget for 2012-13. The School Board had a budget hearing June 21 and was to adopt the budget on June 28.

Treloar told supervisors he proposed during the budget hearing that the School Board ask the county for $100,000 more than the previous year. That amount would include a final appropriation of $50,000 to the school district to pay off a shortfall note. The other $50,000 being requested would be used to buy new textbooks and buses, according to Treloar.

“Two years ago the ad valorem reduction went off and we didn’t ask for that back,” he said. “We’re trying to build our base back up.”

Treloar said the school district has budgeted only one new bus in the last 10 years, and has not purchased any new textbooks or hired any substitute teachers in years. Additionally, the district must begin paying a note this year on Qualified School Construction Bonds used to remodel the Eupora High and East Webster Elementary cafeterias.

“We’re trying to make sure that the school district is solvent,” said Treloar.

According to the discussion, the extra appropriation would result in a net 1-mill increase.

Treloar stressed that none of that money will be used for East Webster High School’s recovery from the April 2011 tornado that destroyed the school. “Between FEMA, MEMA and insurance, we’ll build the new school back,” he said.

The school district has about $1.5 million available in 16th Section funds but Treloar said he does not want to exhaust that money. Supervisors plan to start working on the county’s next budget this month.