- Associated Press - Saturday, September 16, 2017

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - A school system in eastern Alabama will have the largest budget in its history.

The Tuscaloosa News reports that the Tuscaloosa County Board of Education was approved for a $235.5 million budget this week for the 2017-18 school year. The board passed a $183.6 million budget in the last fiscal year.

The budget includes a number of major capital projects that the school system will undertake over the next couple of years. Construction has been ongoing for months on the new Holt High School, which has an $18.6 million budget and will be completed by August next year.

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The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1 and ends Sept. 30, 2018.

The budget accounts for a new Northport school that has a budget of around $12 million, a new Sipsey Valley Middle with a budget of $9.8 million and a Northport Career Tech annex with a $4.9 million budget. The budget also allocates $2.9 million for roofing work at 13 schools and buildings.

The roofs at many of these schools are more than 15 years old and have some leaks, said David Patrick, deputy superintendent. He said the roofs would be replaced from their shingle layout to being made of metal.

“The age of these roofs have been a big factor,” Patrick said.

The budget will also allow adding more special education teachers at Holt Elementary, Holt High, Vance Elementary and Englewood Elementary. Specifically, $266,742 would be allocated to bring in four teachers.

Other items included in the 2017-18 budget are the purchase of 72 buses, allocating $15,000 for a pre-kindergarten playground at Big Sandy Elementary, increasing the technology budget by more than $88,000 and increasing the maintenance budget by more than $393,000.

The school system will have $26.3 million in the general fund.


Information from: The Tuscaloosa News, https://www.tuscaloosanews.com

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