City school funds typically low this time of year but should see boost next month

New Albany MS high school NEMiss.News
January 13th, 2021     City schools

 

The January meeting of the New Albany School Board of Trustees by way of Zoom was typically low-key for this time of year, although they did handle a few personnel matters and learn about some funding.

Director of Accounting Services Suzanne Coffey reported that the district fund balance is down, at $1,070,000, which is not unusual for the time of year. In the past the practice has been to keep the balance around $1.4 million.

She noted that this is historically the time when tax revenues are lowest while, conversely, January, February and March will likely see the largest amounts. Most people pay their taxes at the first of the year with the money flowing to the schools in February.

In fact, she said the funds are up still some from a year ago, bolstered by sale of iPads plus some legislative funds coming.

She added that the audit for the year ending in June was complete with no findings and Superintendent Dr. Lance Evans said he expects the schools to receive more from the second round of stimulus money as well.

The board voted Monday to accept a donation from TVA of $1,000 to pay for lab supplies for the Imagine Lab at the Middle School as well as a $5,000 grant for the program.

They also accepted a $500 grant from the New York Life Foundation to help New Albany Elementary School qualify as a grief-sensitive school.

Trustees also approved an agreement to receive a $58,550 grant from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief program.

In personnel, board members approved:

  • The resignation of Caryl Vogel as teacher, head boys and assistant girls soccer New Albany High School, effective at the end of the 2020-21 school year.
  • The resignation of Keri McDonough, teacher assistant, New Albany Elementary School.
  • Hiring Bethany Gordon, teacher, New Albany Elementary School.
  • Hiring Tameria Ivy, teacher assistant, New Albany Elementary School.
  • Hiring Brooke Herring, teacher assistant, New Albany Elementary School.
  • Hiring Shawn Sanks, assistant track coach, New Albany High School.
  • Hiring Keri McDonough, teacher, New Albany Middle School.

Concerning policy matters, trustees approved amending the leave policy to extend leave time if needed due to COVID-19. The change does expire by the end of March. “It’s the right thing to do for our people,” Evans said.

Board members raised questions about an expense reimbursement policy with David Rainey pointing out that $12 for lunch was probably not a realistic limit for eating out.

Coffey said this is the state-approved amount that cannot be exceeded. However, she added, the day limit is $46 and he agreed that was more workable, especially since many hotels provide free breakfast. The policy passed.

Another policy was tabled, however.

In this case, a bill payment authorization policy would have enabled the superintendent to spend up to $150,000 at his discretion and have that ratified by the board later.

Evans said this was designed mostly for bill paying, but could apply to emergency expenses that arose quickly. It is not for non-emergency new purchases generally.

It appeared that board members needed more specific information and wanted to discuss the limits as well, which led to the tabling of the matter.

Before adjourning, the board voted to go into executive session to discuss personnel. Superintendent Evans reported no action was taken in connection with the session.

The next scheduled meeting of the city school board will be at 5:30 Monday, Feb. 1, with the location to be determined closer to the date.

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