COVINGTON -- The Newton County School System could lose $1.6 million in state funding next school year because of a reduction in student enrollment.
The most recent state student enrollment count, called the full-time equivalent (FTE) count, for NCSS is down 400 students from the initial 2011-12 school year allotment sheet, according to Dr. Dennis Carpenter, deputy superintendent for Operations at NCSS, in a budget update to the Newton County Board of Education during its monthly meeting Tuesday.
Although the state still hasn't presented school systems with their annual Quality Basic Education allotments, or earned state funds that are based on student enrollment counts, for next school year, Carpenter said NCSS anticipates a decrease of $1.6 million as a result of the enrollment decline.
According to the most recent enrollment report for NCSS on March 28, 18,991 students were enrolled in Newton County schools, which is 267 fewer students from March 2011. The enrollment includes 9,484 elementary school students, 4,245 middle-schoolers and 4,865 high-schoolers.
Carpenter said state equalization grant funds could help balance the loss, but NCSS also has not yet received that information. Additionally, NCCS officials reported earlier this month that an anticipated extra $1.5 million in ad valorem and other taxes could increase the general fund revenues this school year.
Earlier this year, NCSS Superintendent Gary Mathews told the school board that he doesn't expect any major cuts for next school year since the board cut more than $8 million before beginning this school year. Still, six furlough days for school staff are planned for next year.
Carpenter said Tuesday that schools are still submitting budget requests and NCSS officials continue to work on the general fund budget for next school year, which is expected to be presented in the form of a tentative budget to the school board on May 8.
From May 9 through 14 and again from May 23 through June 12, the school board may hold work sessions on the tentative budget, according to the budget calendar.
On May 15, the school board plans to adopt a tentative budget, but the budget can change until a final budget is adopted on June 19.
From June 26 through July 17, the school board may hold public hearings related to the millage rate for next year. The board plans to adopt a millage rate on July 17.
Meetings are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the board room at the Newton County BOE building at 2109 Newton Drive N.E. in Covington.