ALBEMARLE – The Stanly County Board of Education met Tuesday, November 1, where they approved two motions regarding Stanly County School finances.
The board approved a motion for an adjustment to the pay scale of classified employees to correct steps, effective November 1.
“The Department of Public Instruction will begin using an updated pay scale for classified employees starting in the fiscal year 2023-24,” said board member Dustin Lisk. “This is a pay scale that they’ve adopted from the Office of State Personnel, which is the pay scale that applies to all state employees. So the pay scale that the DPI is going to have built-in cost of living adjustments, salary adjustments, and job descriptions. It’s much better than the one we have now.”
“If you recall, this board requested approximately $1,000,000 in funding from the county in our budget request in order to adopt a revised and updated pay scale at the local level. We didn’t receive any additional funding, however, our committee believes we can at least move forward to adjust the classified employees to the correct steps. This adjustment would affect roughly 20-25 employees and cost approximately $100,000 in recurring funding. This adjustment does not include the remaining $900,000 of the previously said $1,000,000 that would be needed to fully update the pay scale.”
The board also approved a motion to submit a formal request to the chief financial officer of the county to match up how Article 44 – Sales Tax Revenue should be allocated and that the designated funds should remain allocated the same in each of the final audit reports sent to the state.
“Each year, we receive the sales tax revenue that is collected by both the county and school system and submit audit reports of these revenues to the state,” Lisk said. “The school system does not have the authority to choose where to allocate those funds on our audit reports. We must take direct instruction from the county, and the county has instructed the school system over at least the last three years to allocate these funds to local expenses rather than capital outlay.”
“However, the county submits the allocation as a capital outlay to the state, and our final reports to the state allocate to local expenses. This mismatch in reporting results in the state notifying both entities of the findings. Charter schools receive a portion of our local allotments of our expense funds; hence we receive less of our designated funds from the article 44 sales tax revenue when allocated to local expenses. Additionally, the sales tax revenue is intended for capital outlay.”
The board was also given an update on a few grants dealing with school safety.
“We applied for two grants within the last year, and we did actually receive both of those grants,” said Director of Safety and Security Jennifer Flowe. “From the School Safety Grant for the School Resource Officers, we received $403,326. For the School Safety Equipment Grant, we received $54,000.”
“The School Safety Equipment grant is going to be used to finish out the purchase of metal detectors in all of the elementary schools and to ensure that all of our high schools have two metal detectors to assist with athletic gates to get the flow of people through quicker. With the School Resource Officer Grant that we applied for, we are hoping to eventually put an SRO in all of our schools, elementary, middle, and high, so we are working with our local municipalities and our county government to make sure we can get that put into place. The next grant we received was our school violence prevention program grant. It was for $333,654, and that is going to be used to finish out the key card access at all of our schools to help improve safety, so we know who is coming in and out.”
According to Flowe, the SRO grant funds will be able to fund 11 new school resource officer positions.
Finally, the board approved the list of early graduation requests for the 2022-23 school year.
The Stanly County Board of Education will next meet December 6.