Transfer of school funds delayed

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

By Karen Hall

Staff Writer

A resolution had to be withdrawn at the County Commission's meeting Monday because it had not been approved in committee before being placed on the agenda.

The resolution amended the "general purpose school fund ...due to insurance increases" and moved $37,059.46 from Undesignated Fund Balance to three other accounts within the school budget.

The commission's education committee met immediately after the general meeting and approved the resolution, so now it can go to the budget committee and from there be placed on the February agenda.

Schools director Roy Dukes attended both meetings, and presented the education committee with another resolution he needs approved: the one dealing with moving the Jobs Bill money into fund balance.

"That's not what this document is doing," exclaimed County Budget Director Freda Terry after looking at Dukes' resolution. "This is doing the opposite."

"The money's there, that's for sure," Dukes said. "We just need to move it around. We need it in fund balance, Lord knows."

"If they need to move it...this is not what we need to be doing," Terry said, studying the document.

"Stop," said committee chairman Rocky Bowden. "We could talk all night, but I'm not going to understand what you're talking about. Can you get it drawn up properly and get it back to us?"

Terry suggested recessing, rather than adjourning, the meeting, and Bowden agreed.

"When it's correct you call me, and we'll reconvene the meeting," he said.

Committee members agreed to reconvene late Wednesday afternoon, but that meeting was cancelled when Bowden realized school board members would have to approve the new resolution before it could be presented to his committee.

Terry and Dukes sat talking about the form the new resolution should take. She assured him she was ready to help schools budget director Sheila Cook-Jones.

"I've told Sheila I'll be glad to help her," Terry said. "Until she gets a grasp, let her send it to me."

Once this resolution is correctly drafted, approved by the school board, approved by the education committee, approved by the budget committee, and approved by the county commissioners, the Jobs Bill money will be in the right place to be used for bonuses for teachers and other school staff.

Then another resolution, authorizing use of the money for bonuses, will have to go through the same steps.