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School budget meets state's standard

Video Credit: WAAY ABC Huntsville, AL
Published on September 15, 2020 -
School budget meets state's standard
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School budget meets state's standard

Area.

You're taking a live look outside the huntsville city schools administration building.

Today - the school board unanimously passed a budget for 20-21 that includes extra money for their reserve fund!

Superintendent christie finley calls it a success.

That's in part because - just a few years ago - huntsville city schools was facing a budget crisis after an accounting error left its reserve fund millions of dollars short of the state's requirement.

Waay31's megan reyna is live with how federal funding helped play a role in the rebound.

Megan?

Even through a pandemic -- huntsville city schools has managed to come back from that crisis and produce a plan the school board was quick to approve tonight.

While coronavirus brought a lot of extra costs -- most of it is covered by federal funding.

Nats:"please say i....i...the budget passes."

Monday night -- school board members passed a budget allowing more money this year than in the past to go into reserve funds.

Daehn says: "we've made some cuts to the budgets over the last couple of years that have gotten us to the point to where we are now, which is to spend our current resources to the point where we can achieve a 1.6-month fund balance in reserve."

The state's standard is a one-month reserve.

Last year -- the district's budget was 3-million dollars under the standard.

Daehn -- huntsville city schools' newest chief financial officer says federal funding helped balance the budget.

Daehn says:"that helps defray or helps move expenses out of the general funds this year, but we still have to be careful with our expenditures."

More than 12 million dollars will help offset coronavirus- related expenses.

This includes p-p-e... sanitization efforts... and remote learning devices.

Additionally, the district is able to hire 400 tutors.

Superintendent christie finley says while budget cuts have been made -- staffing has remained a top priority.

Finley says: "we have come really far, we looked at really tightening our belt and what we did is we were able to cut the stuff and not the staff."

Daehn says: "right now we know what our funding and staffing levels are, next year, we don't know what the economy is going to do to funding, so we try to keep that fund balance, or savings account so to speak as high as possible."

Finley believes with this budget -- students will be receiving the necessary resources to succeed -- whether they are in the classroom or learning at home.

Live in hsv mr waay 31 news.

Thank you megan.

Superintendent christie finley also talked with us about how the second first day of school went for huntsville city schools.

160 days since students left campus -- some elementary and middle schoolers made their way back to the classroom with several new protocols in place.

Finley spent the day going around different schools and checking in on how well students and staff followed those new measures.

"as we walked out through the day around the schools, we saw that the teachers were walking their students through the protocols so they would know what to do, i really appreciate what our maintenance and our operation team has down throughout the district, as well as our school building leaders and our teachers and staff to make sure those protocols are in place."

Finley says about 65- percent of students in the district are returning to in-person learning.

Students are on a staggered schedule right now to limit class size.

High school

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