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Florence School District Three approves preliminary budget

March 22, 2019 GMT

LAKE CITY, S.C. – The Florence County School District Three Board of Trustees approved the first reading on Thursday of a preliminary general fund budget for fiscal year 2019-20.

According to a report presented at a school board meeting Thursday by District Three finance director Michelle Humphrey, the preliminary budget includes $29,495,045.12 in total revenues and $30,100,016.95 in total expenditures. The excess expenditures over revenues total $604,971.83, Humphrey said.

“But that’s not final, and we have not met with HR and Mrs. Hickson (district superintendent) for staff ratios,” Humphrey said. “So there’s still a lot more work to be done.

The majority of the expenditures are for employee salaries.

The preliminary general fund budget includes a millage increase of 5.03 mills to total 211.03, and projected local tax revenue of $6,876,327.12, according to Humphrey’s report.

Education Finance Act (EFA) productions include:

>> Implied base student cost – $2,467

>> Percent of state support – 85.05 percent

>> State base student cost – $2,098.41

>> Local base student cost – $368.59

>> Projected 19-20 EFA – $10,076,348.11

Humphrey said no numbers in the preliminary budget are final. It will take three readings for the budget to pass. A second reading of the budget is scheduled for a school board meeting on May 16. Public hearings are scheduled for April 16 and May 16.

Florence County School District Three Superintendent Laura Hickson said the district has been released from the “fiscal caution” designation under Section59-20-90(D)(2)(c) of the Education Finance Act of 1977. The district has an overall financial risk score of 16 which is considered low risk, Hickson said.

Nine is the lowest financial score any district any receive.

“So of course, I’ll be meeting with the team to come up with an action plan because if the lowest score is nine, that’s definitely what we’re going to shoot for,” Hickson said.

Scoring criteria is based on turnover of key personnel, fiscal and programmatic compliance, performance, financial stability and frequency and need of technical assistance, among other things.