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A look at the Macon County Schools budget for the past 10 years

How county contributions compare to state allocations

Over the last 10 years, public education in North Carolina has shifted, as the state’s structure has changed in order to accommodate for student enrollment growth, the rise of charter and virtual schools, and other factors that have caused state dollars to be stretched a little further.

Looking at data over the last decade, school enrollment in Macon County has increased by about 250 students. Funding from the state has gone from $20.3 million in 2005 to $24.6 million in 2014 with a difference of more than $3 million between 2008 and 2009. On the local level, beginning in 2007, the county provided $6 million, and by 2014, was up to $7.3 million. Here is a look at public education funding in Macon County over the last 10 years.

2005

In 2005, Macon County schools had 4,236 students enrolled in 10 schools. Based on documents from the Department of Instruction, the state provided Macon County Schools with $20,374,314. The county contribution data is not available.

Number of employees: 603
Number of teachers: 301
Number of teacher assistants: 98
Number of clerical positions: 36

Of the teachers in the district, 16 teachers were paid out of local funds, or money allocated from the county. Out of the district’s 36 clerical positions, two were locally paid.

2006

In 2006, Macon County schools had 4,323 students enrolled in 11 schools, as Macon Early College was added. Based on documents from the Department of Instruction, the state provided Macon County Schools with $22,739,345. The county contribution data is not available.

Number of employees: 606
Number of teachers: 312
Number of teacher assistants: 98
Number of clerical positions: 33

Of the teachers in the district, 16 teachers were paid out of local funds, or money allocated from the county. Out of the district’s 33 clerical positions, two were locally paid. With an enrollment increase of 87 students, Macon County was given nearly $2.4 million more from the state, and added 11 teachers to the district payroll.

2007

Macon County schools had 4,344 students enrolled in 11 schools. Based on documents from the Department of Instruction, the state provided Macon County Schools with $23,649,259. The county provided the district with $6,010,000.

Number of employees: 653
Number of teachers: 310
Number of teacher assistants: 87
Number of clerical positions: 36

Of the teachers in the district, 18 teachers were paid out of local funds, or money allocated from the county. Out of the district’s 36 clerical positions, none were locally paid. From 2006 to 2007, the school district added 21 students and received $909,914 more from the state. The district added 47 employees, but lost two teachers.

2008

Macon County schools had 4,419 students enrolled in 12 schools, as Union Academy was added. Based on documents from the Department of Instruction, the state provided Macon County Schools with $25,814,258. The county provided the district with $6,911,000

Number of employees: 569
Number of teachers: 311
Number of teacher assistants: 88
Number of clerical positions: 39

Of the teachers in the district, 26 teachers were paid out of local funds, or money allocated from the county. Out of the district’s 39 clerical positions, one was locally paid. The enrollment in Macon County increased by 75 students from 2007 to 2008, and state funding increased by $2.2 million. The county also increased funds to the school district, allocating an additional $900,000 for operating expenses. The district added one teacher from 2007-2008, and the overall number of employees decreased by 84.

2009

Macon County schools had 4,374 students enrolled in 11 schools, as Cowee Elementary and Cullasaja Elementary schools were consolidated and Mountain View Intermediate was added. Based on documents from the Department of Instruction, the state provided Macon County Schools with $22,164,268. The county provided the district with $6,911,000.

Number of employees: 612
Number of teachers: 318
Number of teacher assistants: 91
Number of clerical positions: 40

Of the teachers in the district, 25 teachers were paid out of local funds, or money allocated from the county. Out of the district’s 40 clerical positions, seven were locally paid. The school district had 45 fewer students in 2009 than in 2008, and experienced a $3.6 million reduction in state funds. The county allocation to the district remained the same. The school system added 43 employees over the year, six of which were teachers.

2010

Macon County schools had 4,380 students enrolled in 11 schools. Based on documents from the Department of Instruction, the state provided Macon County Schools with $22,437,479. The county provided the district with $6,705,750.

Number of employees: 627
Number of teachers: 324
Number of teacher assistants: 83
Number of clerical positions: 40

Of the teachers in the district, 25 teachers were paid out of local funds, or money allocated from the county. Out of the district’s 40 clerical positions, four were locally paid. From 2009-10 the school district gained six students, and received $273,211 more in state funding over the previous year. The school system’s county allocation saw a small decrease of $205,250. The district added 15 employees throughout the year, six of which were teachers.

2011

Macon County schools had 4,382 students enrolled in 11 schools. Based on documents from the Department of Instruction, the state provided Macon County Schools with $23,460,832. The county provided the district with $6,705,750.

Number of employees: 611
Number of teachers: 337
Number of teacher assistants: 85
Number of clerical positions: 42

Of the teachers in the district, one teacher was paid out of local funds, or money allocated from the county. Out of the district’s 42 clerical positions, 14 were locally paid. From 2010-11, the district added two students, and received $1 million more in state funding over the previous year. The county contribution stayed the same. The district’s overall number of employees decreased by 16, while the number of teachers showed an increase of 13.

2012

Macon County schools had 4,417 students enrolled in 11 schools. Based on documents from the Department of Instruction, the state provided Macon County Schools with $24,176,198. The county provided the district with $6,911,000.

Number of employees: 609
Number of teachers: 344
Number of teacher assistants: 78
Number of clerical positions: 44

Of the teachers in the district, 63 teachers were paid out of local funds, or money allocated from the county. Out of the district’s 41 clerical positions, 36 were locally paid. Enrollment spiked from 2011 to 2012, adding 35 students to the district. State funds increased by $715,366, while the county contribution increased by $205,250, returning the county’s allocation to 2009 funding levels. The total number of employees in the district decreased by two during the year, while the number of teachers increased by seven.

2013

Macon County schools had 4,481 students enrolled in 11 schools. Based on documents from the Department of Instruction, the state provided Macon County Schools with $23,736,118. The county provided the district with $7,338,330.

Number of employees: 597
Number of teachers: 337
Number of teacher assistants: 79
Number of clerical positions: 42

Of the teachers in the district, 53 teachers were paid out of local funds, or money allocated from the county. Out of the district’s 42 clerical positions, 38 were locally paid. 64 additional students were enrolled from 2012-13, and the state decreased funding to Macon County by $440,080. The county’s allocation increased by $427,330, nearly offsetting the state’s reduction. The school district lost 12 employees, seven of which were teachers.

2014

Macon County schools had 4,484 students enrolled in 11 schools. Based on documents from the Department of Instruction, the state provided Macon County Schools with $24,608,382. The county provided the district with $7,338,330.

Number of employees: 615
Number of teachers: 323
Number of teacher assistants: 82
Number of clerical positions: 42

Of the teachers in the district, 39 teachers were paid out of local funds, or money allocated from the county. Out of the district’s 42 clerical positions, 38 were locally paid. From 2013 to 2014, three students were added to the district’s roster, and state funding increased by $872,264. The county’s contribution remained the same. The district added 18 employees over the year, yet lost 14 teachers.

While state funds started to decrease in 2009, the county actually began to increase its annual capital expense allocation to the district in 2008. In addition to the capital expense budget used for operational costs in the district, the county also provides the school system with a capital outlay budget for infrastructure improvements within the school system.

With about 250 more students today than 10 years ago, Macon County schools is operating with 12 more employees. While the number of employees in the district has only increased by 12, the county has actually added 22 teachers since 2005. The number of locally paid teachers has doubled.

In 2005, the county was footing the bill for 16 teachers. Today, 39 teachers are paid out of local funds. With additional teachers on the local payroll, when the state issues pay raises, which it has for the last two years, with another expected in the coming year, the county has to fund those raises for those positions. The number of clerical positions being paid out of local funds has also increased from 2 in 2005, to 38 at the start of the 2014-15 school year. According to Angie Cook, the county currently covers the cost of 79 school system employees.

Beginning in 2009, the number of teachers and district employees increased, which can be attributed to the more than $1 million in federal dollars known as the Education Jobs Fund. The Education Jobs Fund, which was signed into law by President Obama on August 10, 2010, required the Recovery Transparency and Accountability Board to provide oversight of the $10 billion appropriated by Congress.

The funding was provided to states for salaries and benefits, and to rehire, retain, or hire employees for the 2010-2011 school year. These funds were specifically targeted at providing educational and related services for early childhood, elementary, and secondary education.

Under the leadership of former Superintendent Dr. Dan Brigman, the jobs money, which was known to be non-recurring, was used to hire teachers who would need to occupy recurring positions. In 2011, only one teacher was on the local payroll, a sign of the jobs money shift. The following year, when the jobs money expired, 63 teachers were placed on the local payroll.

Current Superintendent Dr. Chris Baldwin said that as far as he knows, no employee in the district has been sent home throughout the recession or after the jobs money was expired. Macon County Schools has avoided layoffs. The positions that have been reduced have been based on attrition through retirements and resignations in the district.

The Macon County Board of Education has asked for a more than $500,000 increase in their county allocation for the coming fiscal year, up from $7.3 million in 2014. County Manager Derek Roland is slated to present commissioners with his budget message tonight (Thursday), which will be the first time the school district hears if the request was granted in next year’s budget proposal.


This article originally was published on May 21, 2015 in The Macon County News.  It is reprinted with permission.

 

Brittney Raby

Brittney Raby is a reporter with The Macon County News.