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Huntsville City Schools passes 2021 budget, meets state's savings requirements

Last year, the district's budget was $3 million under the standard.

Posted: Sep 15, 2020 7:48 AM

The Huntsville City Schools Board of Education unanimously passed a school budget Monday night for 2021 that includes extra money for saving.

Superintendent Christie Finley calls it a success. That is in part because just a few years ago, Huntsville City Schools was facing a budget crisis after an accounting mistake left its reserve fund millions of dollars short from the state's requirement. 

Even through a pandemic, the district managed to come back from that crisis and produce a plan the school board was quick to approve. 

While coronavirus brought a lot of extra costs, most of it is covered by federal funds.

"We've made some cuts to the budgets over the last couple of years that have gotten us to the point to where we are now," Chief Financial Officer Dustin Daehn said. "Which is to spend our current resources to the point where we can achieve a 1.6-month fund balance in reserve."

The state's standard is a one-month reserve. Last year the district's budget was $3 million under the standard. Daehn said federal funding helped balance the budget.

"That helps defray or helps move expenses out of the general funds this year, but we still have to be careful with our expenditures," Daehn said.

More than $12 million will help offset coronavirus-related expenses. This includes PPE, sanitization efforts, and remote learning devices. Additionally, the district is able to hire hundreds of tutors.

"Right now we know what our funding and staffing levels are, next year, we don't know what the economy is going to do to funding," Daehn said. "So we try to keep that fund balance, or savings account so to speak as high as possible."

Finley said while budget cuts have been made, staffing has remained a top priority.

"We have come really far, we looked at really tightening our belt and what we did is we were able to cut the stuff and not the staff," Finley said.

Finley believes with this budget, students will be receiving the necessary resources to succeed, whether they are in the classroom or learning at home.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 134231

Reported Deaths: 2357
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19441349
Mobile13271291
Montgomery8778179
Madison775480
Tuscaloosa7496119
Shelby584951
Lee582961
Baldwin516550
Marshall390944
Calhoun346641
Etowah342047
Morgan325428
Houston278123
Elmore263247
DeKalb239120
Walker228483
St. Clair227837
Talladega212728
Limestone206120
Cullman188519
Dallas177426
Franklin175529
Russell17442
Autauga173825
Lauderdale168233
Colbert163626
Blount159415
Escambia158425
Jackson154611
Chilton153531
Dale135444
Covington134427
Coffee13078
Pike11879
Chambers115142
Tallapoosa114685
Clarke107717
Marion95729
Butler91339
Barbour8577
Winston73712
Marengo70820
Lowndes65327
Pickens65114
Bibb64210
Randolph63713
Hale62828
Lawrence60922
Geneva5995
Bullock59814
Cherokee59115
Monroe5818
Clay5707
Washington55613
Perry5407
Conecuh53111
Crenshaw53132
Wilcox53111
Henry4865
Macon48020
Fayette4438
Sumter43419
Lamar3632
Choctaw34612
Cleburne3396
Greene30315
Coosa1673
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 187690

Reported Deaths: 2312
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby30460452
Davidson26252298
Hamilton928791
Knox918175
Rutherford915088
Williamson516536
Sumner475896
Wilson341844
Putnam320139
Montgomery302244
Out of TN296825
Unassigned29145
Bradley289317
Madison280061
Sevier257015
Blount247723
Maury230923
Washington223935
Robertson219035
Sullivan212133
Hamblen188525
Tipton178118
Trousdale16517
Gibson160922
Hardeman154826
Wayne14905
Bedford132017
Dyer131813
Dickson123515
Cumberland117518
Fayette117418
Coffee116613
Weakley115719
Anderson115312
Henderson115322
Carter114728
Obion11389
Loudon11356
Greene112943
McMinn110025
Jefferson109714
Macon103520
Warren10267
Monroe102217
Lawrence101211
Hardin100516
Lauderdale95915
Haywood95418
Franklin9518
Lake9142
Roane8724
Carroll85819
Bledsoe8494
McNairy84218
White8139
Cheatham80610
Rhea79812
Hawkins78316
Cocke7419
Marshall7415
Overton7135
Smith69810
Johnson6752
Henry6139
Chester60910
Lincoln6031
Giles58017
Hickman5585
DeKalb55213
Crockett52919
Marion5187
Decatur5037
Fentress4713
Claiborne4405
Campbell4314
Polk38210
Grainger3633
Union3471
Benton3349
Jackson3175
Morgan3113
Unicoi2831
Cannon2800
Grundy2685
Humphreys2443
Sequatchie2293
Meigs2233
Clay2205
Houston2083
Scott2072
Stewart1902
Lewis1851
Moore1641
Van Buren1600
Perry1490
Pickett1102
Hancock1063

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