The Mooresville Graded School District Board of Education unanimously approved a $20.2 million budget proposal for the 2020-21 school year Tuesday during a virtual meeting. The proposed document is still awaiting millions of dollars from the General Assembly and the Iredell County Board of Commissioners.
Last year’s MGSD school budget totaled $64.9 million and the 2018-19 budget totaled $59.9 million after all funding sources came in.
MGSD Chief Financial Officer Terry Haas will return before the board in the upcoming months to provide a more accurate budget once the state and county complete their own budgets and provide funding to the school district. State law requires school boards to pass a budget for the following school year by Oct. 15.
The budget passed Tuesday is currently based on several assumptions, said Haas. Currently, the school district doesn’t know about potential raises, benefits or other ways the state General Assembly could impact the district’s budget, she said, but the proposed 2020-21 budget does include a salary increase of 3 percent, a 1.7 percent matching retirement rate increase and a 5.4 percent increase in health insurance for eligible employees.
The proposed 2020-21 budget revenue reflects an 11.4 percent increase, or $1.3 million more, in funding from Iredell County compared to last year.
This increased revenue will help cover the district’s new Spanish language dual immersion program at three MGSD elementary schools beginning in the fall, Haas said. To effectively implement the program, the district will hire three native Spanish speakers and three Spanish-speaking teacher assistants and will need materials for three classrooms, the district indicated. Increased revenue from the county will also help cover the additional staffing for one custodial position, one-half social worker position and one school nurse, Haas said.
The budget also calls for a supplemental annual increase for certified staff of $250 and a supplemental annual increase of $75 to non-certified staff, Haas said.
The budget will now be submitted to the Iredell County Board of Commissioners.
Board member Debbie Marsh said she was disappointed she didn’t see anything in the budget addressing the need for an alternative school for middle school students.
Superintendent Stephen Mauney said the district is looking at options for an alternative middle school and added that one thing that has come out of the current virtual learning program enacted by the district during the COVID-19 crisis is the possibility of a virtual option for alternative school.
“That is something that is on our radar that is important,” said Mauney.