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BOE schedules budget hearings

The Butler County School Board of Education will be hold a special meeting to help inform the community how each federal, state and local dollar will be spent for the 2012-13 school year.

The meeting will show not only the public, but the superintendent, board members and faculty, how the state and federal dollars will be distributed, as well as how much local funding is anticipated for the FY2013 budget, according to Brandi Autrey, chief financial officer for the Butler County School System.

“I’ll go over the teaching units earned at each school and how the units are funded,” Autrey said.

Resources for school budgets come from a combination of local, state and federal funding that is continuously spent throughout the year. There are a variety of different funding sources and each funding source has individual restrictions on how the money is spent.

“Each year, we are audited by the State Examiners to ensure we are not in violation of any laws,” Autrey said. “We are also monitored by the State Department of Education every three years to ensure we are in compliance with all laws.”

Autrey believes the most important part of the budget will be anticipating the ending fund balance for the following school year.

“We’ll look at the anticipated ending fund balance for next year, why we will end with that fund balance, and what needs to happen to help,” Autrey said.

Butler County Superintendent Darren Douthitt said this is a great opportunity for the parents and the community to learn the inner workings of how money is spent within the school system.

“I see this as an opportunity to get our financial business in order and share with the public about it,” Douthitt said. “I believe it’s the public’s right to know.”

Each school district in the state is required to provide public response forms so the community can have a voice when it comes to how the school budget is spent.

“The school district controls and spends millions of dollars and the community should care how those dollars are spent,” Autrey said. “This is public money, so the more the public knows, the stronger our schools become.”

The first of two budget hearings to discuss the FY2013 budget will held Sept. 6 at 6 p.m. at the Butler County Board of Education Central Office Boardroom in Greenville. The second meeting will be on Sept. 13 at 6 p.m. at the same location.