With lack of funding from the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, the Lamar County School District along with most schools in the state are readjusting its budget for fiscal year 2014.
Lamar County is the second fastest growing county in the state with one of the largest school districts.
Superintendent Ben Burnett isn't anticipating a tax increase for Lamar county residents - the board plans to keep the millage at 54.
"The past two years we've been under funded for about 10 and a half to 11 million dollars." Burnett says MAEP has only ever been fully funded once or twice. The district received 233 thousand dollars more in funding than last year. That money goes toward retirement and required raises for teachers.
"the one disappointing part about the budget for our school district is the high growth formula." aside from MAEP, fast growing school districts like Lamar County are privy to extra funding from the state. "we lost five hundred thousand dollars of that money," say Burnett. That loss hurts a school expecting about 200 more students come august. "We could've hired a few more teachers that we need with our growth."
Burnett says they've made adjustments and some cuts. "We cut some money out of the substitute teacher budget." More proposed cuts include cutting the district office budget by 10 percent and not refilling some teacher positions.
The district is also dealing with is the damage from the February tenth tornado that damaged most of Oak Grove High's athletic facilities and buildings. "Insurance is covering that 100 percent," says Burnett. The damage will have zero impact on the budget. Rebuilding will take at least another year.