BOE Members Pass 2015 Budget

Capital improvements for county school buildings were among some of the items in the Marshall County Schools’ $56 million 2015 fiscal year budget presented at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting.

The budget, which was unanimously approved Tuesday to be sent to the state, totals $56,287,120. The majority of the funds – $42.8 million – will go toward salaries and benefits. The board will take in an extra $325,000 from the county’s excess levy rate, which was lowered from 98 to 94 percent in March. At a 94-percent rate, the board will collect $22,016,588 from the excess levy in fiscal 2015.

The budget includes $1.25 million for the renovation of John Marshall High School in addition to $5 million that will be carried over from bond sales from last year. Other capital improvements budgeted include $1 million set aside for renovations at Glen Dale Elementary and Sand Hill Elementary. Those projects are expected to begin this summer.

Superintendent Michael Hince said there are no drastic changes from last year’s budget, but said there will no longer be a textbook adoption expenditure for 2015, which usually costs the county $300,000 to $500,000.

No members of the public chose to address the 2015 budget at the board’s public hearing.

In other business, Marshall County sheriff’s Det. Zach Allman spoke to the board about creating an Internet safety program in the county to teach parents and teachers what kind of sites children are using and how to be safe navigating them.

Allman, who specializes in undercover Internet work, said he visits schools to teach youth the dangers of social networking, but keeps getting feedback from parents who want to learn the dangers as well. He suggested the county organize a one-night presentation for anyone with concerns about Internet safety for the next school year. Hince said many parents and teachers in the community would be interested in attending.

“We need a class so adults know what kids are doing,” Allman said. “Kids brush a lot of things they see online off, but the next kid might not. I think this will be a good thing for parents and the community.”