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WCS school board takes look at $415.6M proposed budget

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Jason Golden reopening announcement (copy)

Williamson County Schools Superintendent Jason Golden gives an announcement during the summer of 2020.

The Williamson County Schools Board of Education got its first peek at the 2021–2022 budget at a work session on Thursday.

WCS Superintendent Jason Golden shared that, like last year, this is an unusual year to plan a budget because funding is unpredictable, largely due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. He said sales tax numbers have fluctuated more than usual this year, the property tax rate will be subject to reassessment, proposed legislation could affect funding and federal funding is less predictable.

However, the district’s current working budget is projected to total $415,560,274, up from last year’s “status-quo plus growth” budget of $395,925,769.

Former Chief Financial Officer Leslie Holman, who is assisting in this year’s budget process before her official retirement, said two big line items that contribute to the increase over last year include $8 million towards new positions and $8 million to account for a 4% raise for employees. She expects $139 million in Basic Education Program (BEP) funding from the state.

Several district leaders shared during the meeting they do not expect to receive additional money from the state that it would normally receive for growth, as the district did not grow in enrollment this year.

Current CFO Rachel Farmer shared the projected student enrollment number for the end of the first month of school is nearly 40,400.

The school board will meet again for a work session at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 11.

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