County school system continues to monitor budget revenue, savings

COVINGTON -- With half of the school year behind them, officials at the Newton County School System are continuing to monitor the 2009-10 school year budget to prepare for midterm adjustments soon.

"It's an extremely, extremely tight budget," said Dennis Carpenter, deputy superintendent for NCSS, at the monthly work session of the Newton County Board of Education Tuesday night.

He reported in the financial statement for December that so far NCSS, with 50 percent of the school year completed, has collected 58.67 percent of the projected $140.3 million in revenues.

Already, more than 74 percent of the projected $150 million in local revenues has come in, but Carpenter said local investments have taken a hit. So far, NCSS has only collected 6.45 percent, or $9,674, of the projected $150,000 earnings on investments.

"Rates have just plummeted," Carpenter said.

He said if it doesn't improve, the school system might have to make a midterm adjustment, which typically happens in February or March.

NCSS has expended 49.43 percent of its budgeted $144 million.

Carpenter said this is thanks to principals and other NCSS personnel looking carefully at their school and department budgets and expenditures.

"They are being conscientious," he said.

Fuel is one large budgeted area in which the school system might be able to save some money in this school year.

Carpenter said so far only 33.55 percent, or $384,432 of $1.146 million, of the NCSS fuel budget has been expended.

Although gas prices have been on the rise for the past several weeks, he still expects a savings, since NCSS has been paying well under the budgeted $2.50 per gallon since the beginning of the school year.

The school board is expected to approve a final budget for the 2010-11 school year on June 15.