Category Archives: Chowan County

School Budget in Chowan County

I attended the Chowan County Commissioners Meeting on May 16. During the meeting, there was disagreement between the County and the Board of Education, represented by Dr Smith. The District is requesting an additional $750,000.00 to avoid any layoffs and also to avoid cutting program offerings. The District pointed out they have a fund balance and they have been using it to avoid any major effects on program or staff.
The real issue is over Staff and Program reductions. In order to fund the requested ¾ of a million dollars, the County would have to do some combination of tax increases, program cuts, or layoffs. In this economy, with high unemployment, higher and higher food and gasoline prices, the last thing people of Chowan County need is an increase in taxes or other people unemployed. People might argue there will be people unemployed or program cuts, if the School District does not get the funding it requested. There is one major difference between the School District and the County. The County is required by law to maintain a Fund Balance. Dr. Smith admitted at the County meeting, there was no State requirement for a School District to have a Fund Balance. I must state I applaud the School Boards decisions in earlier years, to establish a Fund Balance for “Rainy Day or Emergency” issues. There is in fact, some dispute over the size of the remaining District Fund Balance. The District states it is over a million dollars. The County has researched figures that run as high as $2.6 million. The District is planning on moving over $750,000 from the Fund Balance to support the 2011-2012 school year. Part of that money is a $250,000.00 “Contingency Fund”. Like last year, it is put in the budget for unexpected emergencies. With school year ending shortly, the District has indicated the funds will be transferred back to the Fund Balance unused.
If we take a conservative Fund Balance, there is enough money to fully run the School District for the next two school years. The District would not have to cut program or staff. Admittedly, by the 2013-2014 school year, the District should be out of Fund Balance. However, there are people estimating unemployment would drop by about 1% during the same time periods. A drop of 1% means about 11% o f the unemployed would be back to work, paying taxes. This means additional revenue to the State through both Income taxes and sales taxes .The County should see an increase of sales tax revenue through increased buying. At that point, the County should have additional funds to help support the School District. If they could not fully fund the District request, the District cuts might be less severe than currently projected. At some point in the future, the District could again begin to develop a Fund Balance for the next “Rainy Day”.
I urge the School Board to use their Fund Balance to fully fund the Schools for the next two years. Do what you have to do to ensure the quality of education in Edenton – Chowan Schools does not drop. Our children are this nation’s future. In addition, the Staff deserves your loyalty and your support knowing you have done everything possible to avoid layoffs and program cuts.
With the economy where it is, it is already a “Rainy Day”. The decision is yours.
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Posted in Chowan County, ECONOMY, Education, TAXES | Leave a comment

The State Must Stop Forced Annexation

The new Republican Legislature must take the necessary steps to stop forced Annexing of properties by cities or towns. Up to now a City or Town could simply force an unincorporated section of a County to join the town or city. Local residents had no recourse.

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Posted in Chowan County, NORTH CAROLINA, Politics, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Chowan County and the Budget

Making the hard decsions on a budget Continue reading

Posted in Chowan County | 2 Comments