Trenton school board approves $15M budget
By Crystal Burns
A $15M budget for the Trenton Special School District’s 2020-21 Fiscal Year includes funds for an indoor practice facility to be constructed on the Peabody High School campus.
TSSD Finance Director Tammy Smith presented the budget to the school board at its July 28 meeting, which was held online via Zoom. Smith reported proposed expenditures of $15,066,437, with estimated revenue of $12,288,090.
Smith recommended the district pull $2,778,347 from reserves to cover the deficit and balance the budget. Smith said the district’s fund balance would be at $3,592,304, with $5.3 million in total reserves.
“We are still in good shape with our reserves, even pulling to pay for our sports facility,” she said.
Smith said district leaders were conservative when estimating revenues due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. She said she lowered her estimates on sales taxes and property taxes. The district is also receiving about $149,000 less in state BEP money. BEP is calculated with a formula based on enrollment. School officials said enrollment in the district is down about 28 students.
Smith said leaders also cut one-time expenditures, which principals request, to put most of that money into technology for the upcoming school year. The district is spending $125,000 to purchase Chromebooks for students in K-2 in case schools are forced to shut down and go virtual again this year.
Board members approved the budget and credited Smith and central office staff for keeping a careful eye on finances.
“Tammy does a really good job,” said Dee Ann McEwen.
School Nutrition budget – The board approved the School Nutrition budget of $1,086,290. School Nutrition Director Lisa Seiber-Garland said the budget is comprised of 33% for salaries and benefits, 51% for supplies, and 16% for fees, maintenance costs, and electricity.
The district received a Farm to School Grant of $44,500, which is also included in the School Nutrition budget. Seiber-Garland said Trenton is one of only two districts in Tennessee to receive the grant, which benefits all Gibson County schools. Seiber-Garland said staff would work together to assess current needs and assets, form collaborations between the community and schools, and form a marketing plan to educate school personnel about opportunities the grant provides. TSSD will be the fiscal agent for the grant.