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Less SEEK, no raises for HCS in tentative budget

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By Kelly Cantrall

Hardin County Schools faces less money in its general fund as administrators complete the second phase of the budgeting process.

The HCS board approved the district’s tentative budget for the next fiscal year Tuesday at a special meeting. The second of three steps in the budget cycle, the tentative plan shows a nearly $5 million drop in the general fund from a previous budget draft.

HCS plans on approximately $95.6 million in the general fund, compared to $100.7 million included in the draft budget approved in January.

District officials expect a decrease in Support Education Excellence in Kentucky money, the main source of state money for public schools. The SEEK base for each student was $3,903 in fiscal year 2011-12 and is reduced to $3,833 in the upcoming fiscal year. That amounts to an expected total loss of about $1.4 million for the district.

The district, however, didn’t receive its full SEEK money for this fiscal year and lost $1.3 million after an adjustment from the state, according to a discussion paper presented to the board.

Salaries make up the largest general fund expenditure. Payroll for instructional personnel is expected to reach $46.9 million, about $1 million less than the figure in the draft budget.

The budget doesn’t include raises.

The district is expected to receive about $55 million from SEEK and $18.5 million in general property taxes, which is a small increase from the draft budget.

The budget for the capital outlay fund is $1.8 million, slightly up from the draft budget, and the building fund is expected to be $12.2 million, also an increase from the draft.

The food service budget is set at $7.8 million, slightly down from the January draft budget.

Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747.