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Picayune Schools receive more CARES funds

A budget hearing was held by the Picayune School District Tuesday prior to the Board of Trustees meeting.

The total assessed valuation of property within the Picayune School District that generates ad valorem tax increased from the prior year from $182 million to $186 million. 

Finance Director Lisa Persick said the District will also receive more federal money in the form of CARES Act funding in the coming year. Last year the District received about $1 million in CARES Act funding, this year that amount will be $5.3 million. Last year that money was used to pay the salaries of about 30 teacher aides in the District. With the increase in funding, Persick said the district will pay those same 30 staff, in addition to five technical staff, three staff in food services, 10 nurses and seven staff in management. Persick said that she expects the District to receive more CARES Act funding the following fiscal year as well.

Board member David Mooneyhan asked if Persick has a plan to put the pay for that staff back in the District’s budget, so as not to rely on federal funding that is expected to only be temporary. Persick said she will be mindful to put their pay back in the District’s budget.

Other revenue will include $10.5 million in local money generated from the collection of ad valorem taxes, $16.5 million in state funding and $17.2 million in federal funding, for a total of about $44.6 million.

Expenses for the coming fiscal year are expected total $42.4 million, of which $21.2 million will go to instruction, $17.8 million for support services, $2.8 million will be used for “non-instructional” expenses, $16,350 will cover 16th section expenses, $500,000 is budgeted for construction and $5,538 will be used for debt services.

The fund balance will be at a projected $1.9 million by June 30, 2022, down from the projected $2.8 million by June 30 of this year.

Teachers and teacher assistants will receive an extra $1,000 this year in pay from the state. Persick said that the budget will allow the administrators to also receive an extra $1,000. All employees were said to have received a .20 per hour raise, and a .09 or .10 per hour step increase, depending on years of employment and position.

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