Opelika school board approves budget, capital improvement plan

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“God is good, but he expects you to work,” Opelika City Schools Superintendent Mark Neighbors said during Tuesday’s school board meeting, over the coming fiscal year’s budget. “We’re pretty confident that we aren’t going to have to dip into reserves, but we had to make some tough choices to get there.”

The budget for the coming fiscal year dominated most of the board meeting, as members reviewed and questioned the numbers during their regular meeting following the scheduled budget hearing.

OCS anticipates just over $44 million in revenues and, with $2,160,000 in non-revenue sources, total funding of $46.2 million for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2011. Of total revenues, $20.5 million (46.7 percent) will come from state sources, while almost $17.5 million (39.6 percent) will come from local sources. The remainder comes from Federal and “other” sources.

The school system plans to spend slightly more than $43 million for the fiscal year, 87 percent of which will go for salaries. Purchased services will account for 8 percent and materials, supplies and equipment the remaining 5 percent.

Opelika High School band director Jason Smith gave a presentation to the board in support of a resolution allowing the band to travel in a proposed June 2013 trip to Hawaii to appear in the Pan Pacific Parade and Celebration.

The board approved the resolution, but Smith said the trip was still “not a done deal.” Opelika’s Spirit of the South Marching Band still has to make it through the selection process in order to participate in the parade.

Other possible trip items include possible performances by band members at the U.S.S. Missouri and the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial.

The estimated cost of almost $2,000 per student will be offset by a variety of fundraisers, Smith said.

“Doing this now gives our kids plenty of time to earn money to go,” Smith said. “Every kid who works hard to fundraise and tries to earn money should be able to make what they need to go.”

The board also approved a number of personnel recommendations, as well as the capital improvement plan the system submits yearly to the state Department of Education.

A construction management agreement between Robins and Morton and the school system passed unanimously, as the construction firm will aid the school system with the high school renovation project.

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