City school board reviews proposed 2018-19 budget

W.C. Mann / The Cullman Tribune

Superintendent Dr. Susan Patterson, center, presented Aaron Sparks and Principal Kim Hall a Cullman County PALS Beautification Award for Cullman High School.

CULLMAN – On Tuesday, the Cullman City School Board held the first of two public hearings on its proposed 2018-19 (FY 2019) budget, before holding its regular board meeting.  A second hearing, scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 13, is required before the budget can be approved.


The numbers presented here are preliminary, since the budget has not been finalized and approved.

The Cullman City Schools system is expected to have 3,137 students and a staff of 215.  Of those staff positions, 207 will be funded by the state or federal government, and eight will be locally funded. Additionally, the system has 121 non-certified support personnel.

The system expects to receive $16,657,511, or 51.6 percent of its budget, from the State.  Ten percent ($3,223,506) will come from the federal level, and 3804 percent ($12,406,062) will come from local sources. Those local sources include a one-half cent city sales tax, one-half cent county tax, ad valorum taxes expected to increase due to numerous recent annexations, TVA revenue, and nonresident student fees.  The total tax revenue is expected to increase by $135,000 over last year.

The system will finish FY 2018 on Sept. 30 with a projected 2.89-month reserve fund balance, meaning that the system will have enough money in the bank to operate for almost three months in the absence of outside funds.

As usual, the vast majority of expenses will be for staff salaries and benefits, at $24,192,575, or 78 percent of the budget.  Operations and maintenance will account for $2,620,406, or 8.5 percent, and debt service will take $1,871,611, or six percent.

In a move by the state, all teachers will receive a 2.5 percent raise.  At the bottom end, the starting pay for a teacher fresh out of college, with a bachelor’s degree and no experience, will be $39,511 per year, or $210 per contract day.  Additionally, the budget includes the following for classroom instructional support:

  • $536.06 per teacher for materials and supplies
  • $300 per teacher for technology
  • $96.13 per teacher for library enhancement
  • $90 per teacher for professional development
  • $70 per student for textbooks

The total of all projected expenditures is $31,319,910.94.  With slightly more than $3.2 million in fund transfers included, the FY 2019 budget total is expected to be $34,540,157.24.  If the planned budget holds true, the system should finish the next year with $10,755,130.40 in the bank.

Board meeting

During its regular meeting, the board approved:

  • a bid to Encore Rehabilitation, Inc. for consultant services in physical and occupational therapy
  • a contract with Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood, Inc. for a facility assessment of all schools and a systemwide campus master plan
  • a contract with Parker Electric to update the electrical at West Elementary School per code requirements
  • a request to remove carpet, refinish hardwood floors and install new tile flooring at East Elementary and West Elementary Schools
  • a contract with an architect/engineer for development of preliminary drawings for baseball field renovation
  • a contract with an architect/engineer for development of preliminary drawings for A/C in the Cullman High School gym
  • permission to enter into an agreement between the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) and the City of Cullman for the AHSAA State Track Meet for Classes 1A, 2A and 3A for a period of two years commencing on May 3, 2019 and ending May 2, 2020
  • permission for Cullman Middle School and Cullman High School to change exam dates on the 2018-19 CCS Calendar page two. Final exams for grades 7-11 moved to May 21, 22 and 23; Senior exams to May 15 and 16.
  • permission for Cullman High School to adopt the entire State Approved Textbook List for World Languages. Approved by Textbook Committee.
  • the Cullman City Primary School ACIP (Continuous Improvement Plan) for 2018-19
  • a Community Partnership Agreement for Cullman City Head Start and Signature Smiles of Cullman for dental services for 2018-19
  • a contract with Tammy Sargent to provide special education psychometrist evaluations beginning Oct. 1, 2018 to Sept. 30, 2019
  • a contract with Erica Veal, head start disabilities manager, for a maximum of five days during the 2018-19 school year to complete additional duties and requirements
  • a contract with Kalysha Whittle, head start nurse, for a maximum of five days during the 2018-19 school year to complete additional duties and requirements for health, nutrition and safety
  • a contract with Jonathan Peyton on a part-time, as-needed basis to assist the Technology Department during the 2018-19 academic year

Personnel considerations

Leaves of absence

  • Stephanie Conner, math teacher at CHS, tentatively Feb. 14, 2019 to May 24, 2019, under FMLA
  • Sara Beth Norrell, first-grade teacher at CCPS, leave of absence Jan. 1, 2019 to May 24, 2019
  • Amber Campbell, P.E. teacher at East Elementary School, Aug. 29, 2018 to Sept. 26, 2018, under FMLA


Conditional Employment under the terms of the Child Protection Act of 1999, Act No. 2002457, and pending certification, as applicable.

  • Chloe Harbison, temporary Kindergarten teacher at CCPS (to fill a leave of absence) tentatively Jan. 3, 2019 to May 24, 2019
  • Reeta Morrow, half-day special ed instructional assistant, half-day LPN at West Elementary School, effective Aug. 27, 2018
  • Deanna Little, Extended Day Program teacher aide at West Elementary School, effective Aug. 17, 2018
  • David Chris Kennedy, computer technician II at Central Office, effective Sept. 10, 2018

Modification of employment

  • Debra Ball, CNP worker at West Elementary School requests reduction in hours from a 6.5-hour employee to a 4-hour employee, effective Aug. 2, 2018
  • Paul Ross, modification of employment from computer technician I to computer technician II at the current experience level. The minimum requirements of a two-year associate degree and the A+ Network certification have been completed, effective Sept. 1, 2018

Supplement resignation

  • Priscilla Henshaw, resignation of CCPS webmaster effective July 26, 2018


  • Hayden Faulk, support services coordinator administrative supplement (Level 3) for extended hours on weekends and evenings, effective Aug. 1, 2018
  • Michael Fowlkes, technology coordinator administrative supplement (Level 1) to coordinate the Lean Stream Program, which includes additional hours on weekends and evenings, effective Sept. 1, 2018

Superintendent’s report: hail damage update

Superintendent Dr. Susan Patterson reported on progress on hailstorm-related roof repairs at East and West Elementary, saying that the roof on the old part of West’s main building is finished except for trim, and Servpro will be at the school this weekend to clean classrooms.  The sixth-grade wing’s roof is still under repair, and repairs to the other wing’s roof will begin after that.

Patterson reported that East’s reroofing project is about 60 percent complete but gave no further details.  Support Services Coordinator Hayden Faulk reported that the project seems to be ahead of schedule.

Both projects are scheduled to be completed by Oct. 2.

Patterson also reported that the city system’s federally-funded summer feeding program served more than 16,000 meals during June and July, a giant leap over the approximately 3,000 meals served last summer.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Cullman City School Board will be Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018 at 5 p.m. in the Central Office Boardroom.  The second FY2019 Budget Hearing will be at 4 p.m., before the board meeting.

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