Dare school board approves budget, adopts policy changes

Published 9:21 am Sunday, May 14, 2023

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The Dare County Board of Education unanimously adopted its budget as presented for fiscal year 2024 on May 8, 2023.

The Dare County Schools total budget for the 2024 fiscal year is $72,550,107.

The state’s Department of Public Instruction predicts Dare County will have an enrollment of 5,036 students for the fiscal year 2024. Dare County schools expects to receive $38,386,986 from North Carolina.

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Federal funding is projected at $4.925 million.

Dare County’s contribution to the operation of the schools for fiscal year 2024 stands at $26,895,243.

The contribution is calculated by the school funding formula, which was negotiated between Dare’s boards of commissioners and education. The formula has eliminated budget battles between the two boards and is highly regarded throughout North Carolina.

During new business, the board created an ad hoc committee to work with human resources to investigate possible retention and benefit packages for employees. Chairing the committee is Carl Woody, who has been raising the possibility of employee benefits for sustaining the current workforce and for recruiting. Committee members are Susan Bothwell and Mary Ellon Ballance, who made the motion for the board chairman to form the ad hoc committee. The motion was approved unanimously.

The board adopted on second reading the following policies:

– Revised Policy 2120: Code of Ethics for School Board Members

– Revised Policy 2121: Board Member Conflict of Interest

­– Revised Policy 2123: Board Member Opportunities for Development

– Revised Policy 6455: Bids and Quotations

– New Policy 6402/9100: Ethics and the Purchasing Function

– New Policy 6128: Administration of Naloxone

The board discussed the policy for Administration of Naloxone. In the memorandum of agreement with the Dare County Health Department, the school board will purchase the overdose-reversing drug naloxone and store it at schools.

Dare Schools Superintendent Steve Basnight said, “We have a better chance … when everyone knows where it is.”

The board is investigating establishing an early college for Dare County Schools.

Three board members with the system’s director of secondary education Denise Fallon visited Rocky Mount’s early college and visited with ninth graders and seniors.

Bothwell reported meeting exuberant students. “I think it’s a great thing.”

Board member David Twiddy said about early college, “it’s about creating more opportunities. It was a really cool thing.”

Three board members will visit the J.P. Knapp Early College in Currituck.

Under new business, the board was introduced on first reading to five policy revisions and one new policy. Four revised policies and the new one were recommended the North Carolina School Boards Association.

– Revised Policy 2340: Board Meeting Procedures. The draft makes a technical correction that changes the meeting day.

– Revised Policy 7730: Employee Conflict of Interest. The revision adds a section titled Non-School Employment and states “the board recognizes that some employees may pursue additional compensation on their own time.” The revision lists five instances in which employees with non-school jobs should not engage. Additionally, the revision makes clear that the superintendent must comply and “shall” seek prior approval for consulting and other activities outside the school system. Several legal references are changed.

– Revised Policy 8304: Federal Grant Administration. The proposal has multiple insertions and a rewrite of a section on conflict of interest.

– Revised Regulation 8304-R: Federal Grant Administration – Procurement Procedures. Corrections are to citations in the code of federal regulations.

– Revised Policy 8310: Annual Independent Audit. These revisions change legal citations and adds a requirement that the board send a response to auditor’s findings, recommendations and fiscal matters to the local government commission if required by statute.

– New Policy 8300: Fiscal Management Standards. In this new policy, the board establishes the fiscal management standards for the board and all employees of the school system to “manage and use available funds efficiently and effectively to meet the goals of the local board and State.” Six standards are spelled out.

In the consent agenda, the board approved minutes of April meetings, adopted a budget amendment, approved the board’s meeting schedule for next school term, approved the Government and Education Access Channel budget and formally released one student to attend Tyrrell County Schools.