On Tuesday, Decatur City Council passed a resolution that will give a portion of online sales tax revenue to Decatur City Schools. This comes after the superintendent announced that the district is facing a budget deficit of almost $5 million.
The district plans to reach into a reserve fund to cover the $4.9 million deficit and will be using that money to pay for anything Coronavirus related.
"In order to provide what we promised in terms of safety and in terms of internet, we needed to dip into reserves this year," said superintendent, Michael Douglas.
Decatur City Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Douglas says the 4.9 million dollars from the reserves fund is being used to pay for extra teachers, internet access for students, and cleaning supplies.
"We are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in terms of hand sanitizer and all of the spraying," said Douglas.
The Board of Education also voted Tuesday to spend $96,000 on a cleaning company, called Jan-Pro, that will be used if there's a major Coroanvirus outbreak.
"We did take our reserves from three months to one and a half. The state requires one month in reserves, so we are getting a little close for comfort but we know this is probably a one-year thing," said Douglas.
Austin High School Sophomore Jada McClendon says she's noticed the district spending money on safety materials.
"There's definitely a lot of Germ-X. Every classroom has multiple things of wipes we have to use to wipe off our desks and chairs," said McClendon.
She had to quarantine at the beginning of the school year after being exposed to Coronavirus and says seeing the district make students a priority is comforting.
"It's pretty good to know that even the schools, they are actually helping keep everyone safe. They are providing everyone sanitary wipes. It's pretty reassuring," said McClendon.
Decatur City Council passed a resolution on Tuesday allocating 25% of an online sales tax to Decatur City Schools, something Superintendent Douglas says will help.
"It's one of those things, we would rather plan for the absolute worst," said Douglas.
The money from the Simplified Sellers Use Tax will be used during Decatur City School's 2021 fiscal year.