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Commissioners approve school funding in Chatham County's adopted 2009-10 budget

Posted Tuesday, June 16, 2009

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Pittsboro, NC - The Chatham County Board of Commissioners approved a budget that increases total funding for schools. Funding for K-12 education will be 39% of the county's general fund budget, up from 36.5% in 2008-09.

The county's funding per student for 2010 will be $4,010, up $103 per pupil. Chatham County ranked sixth in the state in funding per pupil in 2009-10.

An increase in county funds for debt service on school facilities was the key factor in the overall increase of 4% in county funding for schools, but the commissioners also managed to restore 18.5 teaching positions that were slated for elimination in the county manager's proposed budget.

Only three of the surrounding counties (Alamance, Randolph and Wake) are considering proposed overall increases school funding, but their budgets are not finalized. Randolph is opening a new high school, which has a major impact. Most counties in the area are considering cuts in school budgets ranging from 2% to 11%.

The amounts budgeted next year for school capital projects are:

Asbestos ceiling tile replacement at two schools, $187,480

Asbestos floor tile replacement, $35,000 (involves five schools through 2012)

Bleacher replacement, $105,000 (involves 11 schools through 2012)

Camera security system, $166,587 (involves all schools through 2011)

Renovations of science labs at all three high schools, $152,400

Renovation of restrooms and addition of hot water, $250,000 (involves all schools through 2013)

Renovation of wastewater system at J S Waters School, $100,000

The new Briar Chapel Middle School is under construction, with a planned opening in the fall of 2010, but does not impact the upcoming operating budget for 2009-10.

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