Local News: Lynchburg City School Board unanimously approves to reallocate funds

Lynchburg City School Board unanimously approved the reallocation of $1.2 million Feb. 5 to fund maintenance and facilities costs as well as purchase new marching band uniforms for the two high schools in the district.

“First of all, this is not asking for an increase in our existing budget. I’m not asking for an increase. We are just asking to reallocate (money) to other needs,” LCS Chief Financial Officer Anthony Beckles said at the Jan. 15 school board meeting. “Secondly, you will say, ‘Well, how did these funds arrive?’ For example, when we budget payroll, we budget everybody being 100 percent. … People leave, and by the time they leave, we replace them, and you have a gap there.” 

Additionally, Beckles said when employees leave, a lower-salaried employee may fill an open place, which gives LCS the opportunity to reallocate some funds. The total amount reallocated from salary and benefits operating accounts is $1,235,000. 

Beckles described the funds as going toward “one-time expenditure items,” which include new boilers and rebuilt chillers at Linkhorne Middle School, new security cameras at Sandusky Middle School, other maintenance and facilities items, a disaster recovery backup server, vehicles for social workers, and band uniforms for E.C. Glass and Heritage high schools. 

The $1.2 million only makes up 1.22 percent of LCS’ $97.6 million operating budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year. 

“It’s a small amount, but it can cover the items that we currently need,”
Beckles said.

Emma Smith | Liberty Champion
MEETING — The Lynchburg City School Board convenes the first Tuesday of each month at the school administration building on Court Street.

The largest portion of the reallocation — $573,000 — will go toward facilities and maintenance costs. News & Advance reported that the rebuilding of Linkhorne Middle School’s chillers was scheduled for the 2021 fiscal year. However, crossing major items off LCS’ “to-do” list will help both the city and the school board. 

The next largest amount — $538,000 — will be dedicated to information technology improvements such as the backup server, replacement of the school district’s phone systems, and the conversion of student records from microfilm to electronic images, among other items. 

“We rely heavily on working technology in our buildings, so having a backup is a necessary and responsible plan of action should we need it,” Cynthia Babb, communications coordinator for LCS, wrote in an email. “This would improve LCS by ensuring we have backup in the event (of something shutting) down the main site. Disaster planning and backup recovery are best practices for organizations that rely heavily on information technology and electronic resources.” 

Smaller budget items include two new four-door sedans for LCS social workers, totaling $40,000, and band uniforms for the high schools, which will cost $84,000. The current band uniforms for the two high schools in the district are 13 years old and need replacing, according
to Babb. 

The next Lynchburg City School Board meeting will be held March 5 at 5:30 p.m. in the LCS administration building located on Court Street. 

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