Members of the Murray County Board of Education set the budget on Monday night at $51.3 million for expenses.
Finance Directer Steve Loughridge said health care costs increased 30 percent for classified personnel. The cost went up more than $100 per classified employee.
“This budget also restores one furlough day,” Loughridge said. “The total furlough days that we have this year is seven for all employees and next year it only has six.”
“The total budget versus last year’s budget is about a three percent increase,” Loughridge said. “Last year’s budget was $49.8 million. And the biggest reason for that increase is the health insurance cost...and the decrease in the number of furlough days...that one furlough day added back is worth approximately $192,000.”
Instruction makes up nearly 68-percent of the budget while general administration, which includes the central office and technology as well as technology infrastructure, is less than four percent of the budget.
School administration is six percent of the budget. Loughridge said that every school has the least amount of administration, the least number of asistant principals that is allowed by law and that some schools even share staff.
“It’s virtually the same budget we’ve had,” said Loughridge, “except for the increase in health care costs.”