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County Board of Education plans for financial loss

By Eason Franklin
The Lowndes Signal

The Lowndes County Board of Education (LCBOE) is bleeding by $160,000 every month, according to Superintendent Daniel Boyd.

Though anticipation for this years financial problems were accounted for in last year’s budget, transportation and utilities were contributing factors to the 2009 losses.

To help offset the lack of funds available, the board has ceased their inmate program and slowed down on the amount of field trips taken by the various schools throughout the county.

The LCBOE started saving for the lack of funds between one and one and a half years prior to the allocation of this year’s budget.

“We don’t see mass layoffs in our school system as we do in other counties,” said Boyd.

About 72-percent of the board of education’s funding comes via the state based on the average membership of student enrollment.

The LCBOE relies on state, federal and local funds to help support the school system within the county.

After Gov. Bob Riley approves the board’s new budget for the fiscal year, the board will look to the supporting staff if any layoffs are to take place.

Each employee is evaluated on their overall performance and classroom management among a slue of other key factors.

“The pink slips given to those employees who are to be let go, may come without reason,” said Boyd.

The board of education is not required to list specific reasons for the termination of an employee who does not carry tenure.

This is one of issues that will be determined, if at all considered, when Riley approves the LCBOE’s budget for this year.

Other funds approved from the state, however, are allowing the LCBOE to give back to the community in the way of extracurricular activities.

With money granted from the state, the LCBOE is currently in the process of building a baseball field in Hayneville.

The LCBOE is also seeking plans to build a new facility at Central Elementary to house the Head Start Program.

The decision has come in an effort to remove students from trailers, from which they are currently housed, to new buildings, according to Chief School Financial Officer Kenneth Wesley.