Tupelo, Lee school boards approve budgets for current fiscal year

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Tupelo and Lee County school boards each approved budgets on Tuesday for the current fiscal year.
The plans were nearly identical to the ones each district presented during public hearings within the past two weeks. Tupelo’s plan contained a few minor tweaks.
Although tax rates ultimately are set by the local taxing authority, neither budget anticipates a tax increase.
Tupelo’s budget calls for the district to spend $83.17 million this year, with $42.75 million – or 51 percent – going toward instruction. It is funded by $75.69 million from federal, state and local taxes.
The remainder would come from the district’s savings. The budget anticipates keeping $13.8 million in the fund balance at the end of the year.
The budget’s spending numbers do not include about $11.56 million that will be transferred through various accounts. Including those numbers, projected revenues are $87.2 million and expenditures are $94.7 million.
Other costs include $9.49 million on operation of facilities, $6.5 million on debt service, $5.4 million on support services for instructional staff and $4.1 million on support services for students.
It will be funded by about $32.9 million, or 43 percent, from the state and about $32.7 million, or 43 percent, from local taxes.
About $10.1 million will come from federal sources.
The district anticipates a reduction in its tax millage from 65.31 mills to 64.63. That will include 55 mills for operations and 9.63 for the district’s debt.
Lee County approved a $65.266 million budget that will spend $33.5 million – or 51 percent – on instruction. It will be funded by $63.09 million, meaning the district will also likely have to dip into its reserves.
The county school district’s budget calls for 62.21 mills, the same amount it received last year. That includes 48.69 mills for operations and 13.52 for debt.
Lee County will receive $33.7 million, or 53 percent, from the state and $14.85 million, or 23 percent from local taxes. It anticipates $6 million from federal sources, $2.3 million from other local sources and $6.2 million from such other sources as transfers and loans.
Other expenditures include $18.9 million on support services, $9.47 on facilities and debt and $3.3 million for non-instructional expenses like the cafeteria.
chris.kieffer@journalinc.com