After discovering their original
numbers were wrong, the Monroe County School Board has approved its
In a three-hour budget workshop on
Thursday, the Monroe County Board of Education went over all
departmental budgets. At the School Board meeting following the
workshop, the new budget passed on a 7-2 vote, with board members
Sonya Lynn and Janie Harrill being the only two to vote it down once
It's been a long month for the Monroe
County School System and School Board. At a special called workshop
on Aug. 16, the School Board passed the proposed system's budget in a
7-2 vote, with only Lynn and Harrill voting against it. That budget
showed an estimated ending fund balance of only $1.4 million.
A flawed process?
"That budget couldn't be presented to
the County Commission because finance (county Finance Department) discovered they used the 2012 numbers instead of current figures," said 1st District member Jerry Snyder at a special called budget
workshop on Thursday.
By Aug. 26, the ending fund balance
estimate had increased to 2.9 million. After a meeting with state
Department of Education officials on Aug. 29, however, great news
The school system actually has a
beginning fund balance for the 2013-2014 fiscal school year of $4
"That's a difference of $2.5
million," said Snyder.
Finance Director Libby Hicks explained
to the School Board on Thursday afternoon that a budget is an
estimate and that many factors were involved in the flawed budget.
Who is to blame?
"We've made the mistake and I've
admitted that, but there were also many, many emails from Central
Office where figures were changed. We could do this all night long.
We could say this and this and this," she said. "I'm just saying
that during this budget process, what you all did here tonight is
what should have been done at the very beginning."
But some board members wanted an
"We had wrong numbers," said
Chairman Bob Lovingood. "We started with 1.9, then 2.4, then 2.99,
now we're up to $4 million."
See full story in the Sunday, Sept. 15, edition of The Advocate & Democrat.