The Scotland County Board of Education on Monday approved an increase in its fund balance appropriations to pay for salary restorations approved earlier this year.
In an amendment to the 2012-2013 budget, the board increased fund balance appropriations to $2.6 million for this year.
“What we’re hoping to do is appropriate $700,000 more from our fund balance than the initial $1.9,” said Jay Toland, the school system’s chief financial officer. “With that additional $700,000, that will bring our unassigned fund balance to a little over a million dollars, which is exactly where we’d planned to be.”
Of the additional appropriation, $475,000 will cover a 100 percent salary restoration to all teaching assistants, $100,000 goes to hiring additional teachers, and $115,000 will pay for the implementation of career and technical education STEM labs.
The budget amendment also takes into account an $822,799 decrease in state funding.
In other business, Dale Smith of Anderson Smith & Wike of Rockingham presented a clean audit report to the board, stating that as of June 30, the board had just over $4 million in unassigned fund balance.
The board also passed a resolution opposing sequestration of state funds once allocated to individual school systems.
“Each and every year we are continuing to have funds withdrawn back to the state,” said Superintendent Rick Stout. “One of the reasons that we have lost millions of dollars in revenue is that, once we get into the spring year, someone at DPI or the state calls for some monies to go back to them when we’ve already planned our school year around that budget.”
A similar resolution is being reviewed by each of the state’s 115 school systems.
The board also on Monday, recognized Covington Street Elementary School as a North Carolina model school for Positive Behavior Intervention and Support for the second consecutive year.
The board also approved Shaw Academy’s 2012-2013 goals, presented by Principal John Teal. The goals include improving Biology EOC scores as well as increasing community and parental involvement in the school.
Wagram Primary School Curriculum Facilitator Amber Hutchins briefed the board on Fast ForWord, a computer program designed to accelerate students’ progress in reading comprehension.
“Every first grade student at Wagram Elementary is a fast ForWord student, and then from second grade through fifth grade, the students that are targeted as Fast ForWord students are those that are not reaching the proficiency level at those grade levels,” Hutchins said.
The program targets problem areas, such as phonology, decoding, and vocabulary, for students on an individual level.
“What happens during that session is the program itself differentiates for the students based on where they tested,” said Hutchins. “So if they have strengths in a certain area, it’s going to move them through that part and they’re going to be targeting the areas that are shown as deficits.”
In less than half a year of instruction, 38 students have made a half year’s progress, 14 have made between half a year to a full year of progress, 20 students have made a year to a year and a half of progress, and 12 have made more than a year and a half of progress.