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Huntsville City Schools can't fund state requirement

The district's new budget shows it still falls short of funding a one-month reserve the state requires of all school districts that covers all operating expenses.

Posted: Sep 5, 2018 5:28 PM

WAAY31 learned teachers could be the ones to pay the price because Huntsville City Schools budget is short millions of dollars. The district's new budget shows it still falls short of funding a one-month reserve the state requires of all school districts that covers all operating expenses.

"It's concerning that we are in this situation, the biggest problem I have is this didn't happen over night," Adam Keller of the Alabama Education Association said.

On Tuesday, the 2019 proposed budget was presented to the Huntsville City School Board of Education, and while the proposal projects an overall gain, the district still would fall three million dollars below funding the one month reserve. Keller says it could force changes in the classroom.

"I think it's going to be harder for teachers to get supplies and materials from the district, Keller said. "...which was already in pretty short supply."

WAAY31 reached out to the Alabama Department of Education about how the state law is enforced and we received this response:

"The budgets are not reviewed for compliance with the one-month calculation. If an lea's financial statement fund balance is less than one month... The ending balance in the budget or budget amendment will be calculated for compliance with or at least progress towards one month."

At this time it is unclear what the Board of Education's plan is. Martha Kimbrough had her children go through Huntsville City Schools and is concerned.

"We don't know what's ahead and the concern is if we are behind on that, do we have what we need today?"

Keller says this just adds an extra pressure to teachers.

"There's not a lot of room for error and that's something that teachers and support staff and all employees are going to have to keep in the back of their head," Keller said. "Finances are strapped in the district."

As of right now, at the end of September, the district is looking to be five million dollars short of filling that one month reserve.

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