Audit says Taylor County School finances in good shape

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District focusing more money toward instruction, students.

By Leslie Moore

Taylor County School district was given a clean opinion on the state of its finances by Jeff Sprowles of Wise, Buckner, Sprowles & Associates, who prepared the audit of the district's finances during the last school year. Sprowles presented the audit's findings at the Board's regular meeting last Tuesday.

As of the fiscal year's ending on June 30, the district's cash and cash equivalents totaled $5,363,161. Total assets were $19,955,894. Liabilities were $7,522,369. Total net assets were $12.4 million.

Expenditures for the district increased to $2,355,000, while revenues decreased about $400,000 to $22,872,833.

While USDA federal grant money to food services increased by $74,000, the district received $2,925,354 in state and federal grant money - a decrease of $547,000.

Still, Sprowles said instruction and student support made up 65 percent of the district's expenditures, an increase of about 5 percent from the 2011-2012 fiscal year.

"Even with the drop of revenue, the money is being focused toward the students," Sprowles said. "Even though the federal and state grant moneys have lowered, the burden was taken on the general fund, and the focus is still upon the instruction and student support services."

Board member Deanna Hunt did not attend the meeting.

Also at the Meeting:

• The Board approved the local planning committee's recommendation to adopt the district facilities plan that was first adopted in 2009.

The district facilities plan calls for building a pre-school through second grade building on the current middle and high school campus and a new high school on the district's KY 210 property. The middle and high school buildings would be remodeled, with the current TCMS building housing grades three through five, and the current TCHS building housing the middle school. In the plan, the elementary school building would no longer be used.

• Taylor County Schools Superintendent Roger Cook said there have been some changes, including the configuration of building plans, since the Board appointed a construction manager four years ago. The Board approved a proposal to rescind all previous construction manager decisions and rebid the services.

• Board members watched a video explaining the district's policy on weather school cancellation procedures. Cook said the video was made to address parents' concerns about how and why the decision to cancel school is made. The video can be viewed on the district's website, YouTube and has also been shared on Facebook.

• Students in Taylor County Middle School teachers Jennifer Blakeman's and Sheri Turpin's classes showed robots and paintings they created to go along with the young-adult novel "Freak the Mighty."

• Shannon H. Cox, a teacher at Taylor County Elementary School, addressed the Board on behalf of the Taylor County Education Association and the Kentucky Education Association. She asked the Board to show their support for the Raise Your Hand campaign by wearing buttons at board meetings and anytime they are representing the district. The campaign's mission is to tell the Kentucky General Assembly to increase SEEK funds, pay for textbooks and technology and fully fund the Kentucky Teacher's Retirement system.

• Cook said Assistant Superintendent Susan Kilby and TCES Principal Donna Williams are on a trip to China that was paid for by the Confucius Institution. Cook said the institution promotes the swapping of education ideas. He said the institution will send the district two educators next year who will teach Chinese to TCES students.

• Tyler Ratcliff, an out-of-state student in the Virtual Academy, was presented his diploma.

• The month's personnel report includes:

Retirement - Rosa Gribbin, bus driver/food service.

Resignation - Robbie VanCleave, TCMS archery coach.

New Hires - Brianna Blair, Marian Braun, Samantha Clark, Lindsie Estes, Carla Hoosier, Natalie McVay, Nancy Meadows, Shana Palumbo, Rachel Rogers, Gail Shaw, Robin Smith and Timothy Woodcox, certified substitutes; Beverly Cox, food services classified substitute; John Fulks, classified substitute; Seth Lucas, assistant wrestling coach; and Kaitlin Woodrum, assistant swim coach.