Shortfall in funding coming for school
Monday, June 29th at 6:00 p.m. Quitman School District’s business manager, Lotis Johnson, stood at a podium in the boardroom of the district’s central office. A camera was positioned on her as she chaired a public hearing regarding the district’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2021. A live stream of the hearing was broadcast on the district’s YouTube channel. Through the YouTube platform, anyone could watch, listen and ask a budget question of Mrs. Johnson while the meeting was being streamed onto their phones, laptops and smart TVs.
Mrs. Johnson wanted to ensure everyone understood that she doesn’t know yet what the shortfall from the State of Mississippi will be. She just knows a shortfall is coming. Costs will not be the same this year. She explained, “The budget will include an increase in spending for expected COVID-19 expenditures. It is important for the taxpayers to understand that the state funding we receive does not cover all teacher and teacher assistant salaries and benefits and instructional materials. State funds do not support 100% of what goes on in the classroom. Therefore, we need ad valorem monies to cover instructional costs as well. We eliminated a few positions for the 2020-2021 school year and cut 3% off of non-personnel spending - supplies, equipment, consulting. Monday I want as many people as possible, who are seeking an understanding of how their tax dollars help educate the students of Quitman School District, to watch the meeting. The proposed ad valorem tax amount printed in the newspaper ad is not a final number. It is a high end estimate. The board of supervisors will receive a school board approved resolution in August with the amount we will officially request for the 2020-2021 school year.”
For those taxpayers hoping to understand more about what Mrs. Johnson is proposing, the live stream video is saved for viewing on the district’s web page at www.quitmanschools.org/?p=19967.