School Board Asks For 32 Percent Budget Increase

The Johnston County Board of Education has asked Johnston County Commissioners for $84,062,810 for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.   In a unanimous vote on Tuesday, the board formally adopted their budget request which was forward to County Manager Rick Hester and Commissioners for consideration.

The spending proposal includes 53 additional full-time bus drivers to reduce the number of teacher assistants being pulled from the classrooms to drive buses in the mornings and afternoon.  Funds are included for a one percent teacher supplement increase and a 5 percent increase for all certified and classified employees.

Superintendent Dr. Ross Renfrow had presented a draft budget of $83,109,560 but the school board added an additional $953,250. requested the school system provide a summary of the additional $953,250 added by the School Board to Dr. Renfrow’s budget.  Instead, a spokesperson referred us back to the entire budget document.

The 2019-2020 budget request is up 32.25 percent over funding from the current 2018-2019 fiscal year of $63,563,852.

The new budget request includes $82,507,060 in Current Expense funding, up $19,998,958 from $62,508,102 allocated by Commissioners this year.  That is equal to a 31.99% increase.

The new budget request includes $1,555,750 in Capital Outlay, up $500,000 from $1,055,750 allocated this year. That is equal to a 47.36% increase. Overall the budget request by the school board represents a 32.25% funding increase.

School Board member Todd Sutton said raising teacher supplements in the new budget was one of his goals. Board member Terri Sessoms agreed, saying the Board must prioritize spending, and regardless of what commissioners come back with, teacher supplements need to be a priority.