Huntsville city school board expects to meet reserve fund goal

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala.- The city school board approved its 2020 budget and finance leaders say they’ll end September with the state required $18 million in reserves.

Not an easy task, finance chief Tina Hancock admits, when around 80 percent of the nearly $300 million budget goes to payroll and instruction.
She believes the district is on the right track, so long as they stick to the plan.


“We were able to do that in one year instead of the three years they thought it would take,” Hancock said.

Hancock says she met with every department leader in the school district to look at ways to trim dollars without cutting staff.

“It ended up being, after we calculated everything, about $9 million,” Hancock said.

That’s the same amount found in next year’s capital plan. Huntsville Junior High will be getting a new boiler and chiller to the tune of $2.2 million.
Highlands Elementary is getting $1.8 million to replace its roof.

“We wanted to give some love to lots of schools,” Hancock said. “They’ve been untouched for quite a while.”

The plan also includes $455,000 for security bubbles, a second set of locking doors inside the entrances to some of city’s older schools.

“We’d love to finish all of the schools this year, but based upon timing and construction and releasing the bid, we weren’t quite sure we could get it all done, so we spread it across two years,” Hancock said.

For 2020, the district is paying around $33 million toward its debt, which will then be around $459 million. Teachers and staff are getting a four percent raise across the board. The district is spending $12,436 per student.

Huntsville city schools’ enrollment is now 23,867 kids.

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