2017 – 2018 Budget Development

Craven County Schools Proposed 2017 – 2018 Current Expense Budget

Craven County Schools Proposed 2017 – 2018 Local Budget – ppt

Craven County Schools Proposed 2017 – 2018 Local Budget – pdf

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Preparation of our Local Current Expense budget 2017-2018 presented several challenges. As we’ve discussed in previous budget work sessions, we have been dealing with loss of funding since 2009, as well as large increases in retirement and healthcare costs that directly impact dollars available to spend in areas other than salary and benefit costs.  We’ve seen a 103% increase in the retirement rate since 2008, from 8.14% in 2008/2009 to 16.54% in 2016/2017 and a 38% increase in the cost of health care benefits from $4,157 in 2008 to $5,754 in 2016/2017.

In addition to these rising costs, we are also dealing with declining enrollment which impacts the state funding our district receives as well as loss of Impact Aid Revenues due to a decreasing military connected population in Craven County.

The biggest challenge to our district by far the upcoming school year is the K-3 class size legislation, which for our district presents the need for 61 additional K-3 teachers and the additional space to house these classrooms.  We have had to look at other means for efficiency in every area of our budget to begin to plan for the estimated cost of these additional positions and classrooms.

We have proposed a budget that will utilize every professional staff member possible to fill some of these K-3 positions, as we know it is unrealistic to expect to hire an additional 61 teachers by August 2018.  Not only do we lack the additional funding to do this, but there simply will not be the numbers of licensed staff needed across the state to meet the demands of this legislation.

In addition to looking at efficiencies in staffing, we have reduced areas of the budget where we have been able to identify savings over the past two years. We have proposed an increase to the teacher supplement in order to compete, hire and retain the professional staff needed to equip our schools with the best educators in the state.

By looking at these ways to improve our efficiency, we will continue to maintain Art, Music and PE positions to enhance the education of the students and families we serve in Craven County.  We are thankful for the support we have received from staff, parents and our Craven County Commissioners as we have tried to navigate these difficult budgetary decisions.