Tupelo school district approves $97M budget

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The Tupelo Public School District on Tuesday passed its $97.3 million budget for the 2011-12 school year.
That budget does not call for a tax increase. It is essentially the same as the one the district presented at its budget hearing on July 19. By law, the district is capped at 55 mills for district operations, and additional debt service tax would remain at 10.31 mills for the upcoming budget year.
The budget’s total amount includes about $12 million that will be transferred between different funds. Not counting that money, expenses total $85.2 million.
Total revenue is $89.4 million, which also includes the $12 million in inter-fund transfers. Without that, net revenue is $77.3 million.
Revenue sources include $33.87 million from local sources, including property and car taxes, and $32.55 million in state funding. Other funding sources include $9.88 million from the federal government and $1.08 million from other funding sources. Broken down as percentages, the budget gets 44 percent of its funding from local sources, 42 percent from the state, 13 percent from the federal government and 1 percent from other sources.
The biggest expenditure is instruction, which will receive $52.6 million, or about 62 percent. The budget also spends $8.55 million on operational services, $7 million on debt services, $4.3 million on non-instructional services and $3.9 million on facilities and construction.
One reason why the budget shows the district spending more than it takes in is that it will spend money saved from last year, said finance director Linda Pannell. That includes money the district received from the stimulus package and the federal education jobs bill. The district saved that money in anticipation that its federal funding would be cut this year, as it was by about $3 million.
Also, the district received about $3 million last year in low-interest loans to fund construction projects. It spent the money this year on renovations at Tupelo High School. The district also will pay out debts on which it has been collecting money in past years.
Last year’s budget spent a total of about $96 million.

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