Opelika City Schools’ Board of Education met on Thursday, Sept. 14, and approved the budget for the fiscal year 2023-24.
The beginning equity balance for Oct. 1, 2023, the combined funds is $38.3 million projected by the fiscal year 2023 amendment. The total revenue for the fiscal year 2024 and other fund sources is projected to be $87 million with total expenditures and other fund uses of $81.5 million.
There are a total of 662 budgeted personnel units, and teachers are compromising 379 of those units. 505 of the totals are state funded, 101 are federally funded and 55 are locally funded.
In the general fund, the fiscal year 2024 ending fund balance is $20.2 million, which results in a four-month reserve.
Budgeted revenues and other fund sources in the general fund for the fiscal year 2024 are $60.4 million, and the fiscal year 2023 amendment is $59.9 million. State revenues of $33.5 million (56%) of general fund revenues are projected to increase by $402 thousand (1.2%) from last year. Local revenues of $26.3 million (43.9%) are projected to increase by $632 thousand (2.5%) from last year.
Expenditures and other funds used in the general fund for the fiscal year 2024 are $53.4 million. Instructional services and instructional support represent 75.3% of the general fund’s projected expenditures. The personnel costs account for 85% of the general fund budget.
The special revenue fund, excluding carryover funds, CARES Act, ESSER and the Coronavirus Relief Funds, is projected to increase by $144 thousand (2.2%). The special revenue fund includes federal revenues, public school funding, after-school programs and the Child Nutrition Program. The ending fund balance for the special revenue fund is $3.1 million.
The board of directors approved the five year capital plan, which includes Opelika Middle School getting paint and carpet, HVAC renovation for Northside Intermediate School, renovation for the baseball and football field to include turf, upgrading the jumbotron and lighting system at the football stadium and upgrading the lighting system at the baseball field. There will also be a phone, intercom and bell systems upgrade across the district. In addition, the board is looking into adding three new school buses and upgrading the camera systems on the buses.
In 2025, the school system is going to look into the HVAC system at the middle school and start looking at roof replacements at the high school and Opelika Learning Center. The board is hoping to replace the carpet and the interior paint at Carver Primary School and West Forest Intermediate School.
Moving into 2026, the HVAC system will be replaced at the high school around the older parts of the building that were not a part of the renovations in 2014.
In 2027, Northside Intermediate School and Southview Primary School will have a paint job and carpet replacement, and there will be roof renovations for the Board of Education office. In 2028, the board will revisit the school entrance modifications for safety.
The board was able to complete four projects last, which included the construction of Fox Run School, the HVAC system renovations at West Forest Intermediate School and Southview Primary School and the installment of handrails at Opelika High School’s football stadium.