Huntsville City Schools budget shortfall close to being righted after accounting mistake

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Huntsville City Schools leaders say they're about one month away from getting their finances back in shape.

They're still recovering from an accounting mistake which left their reserve fund millions of dollars short.

Huntsville City Schools leaders say they'll finish the month with around $15-million in reserves.  That's around $3-million short of where they need to be.

Thursday was the first of two public budget proposals, and school leaders say the plan rights the ship as far as reserve funds.

Outlining the next fiscal year budget for the school district, Chief Schools Financial Officer Tina Hancock presented a plan she's confident everyone can live with.

"We will meet a one month reserve as long as we live within this budget," said Hancock.

The district is required to keep around 18 million dollars in its reserve fund per month.

The board already approved cuts to busing, including routes outside of five miles, but leaves $9-million dollars in capital projects next year.

Over the summer, the Huntsville City Schools board approved eliminating around 70 teaching and support staff positions. With the latest budget proposal, Hancock says they're not expecting to have to eliminate any more.

"There might be some positions that are district-wide that we may not fill as people leave through attrition.

No one from the board or the public sought any changes to the proposal. It could be adopted next week.

If you'd like to attend or watch the next budget hearing, it's happening on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m., followed by a school board work session, at which point the board could approve the budget.

Hancock says they have to send in their budget plan to the state by September 16th.


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