County, schools eye funding agreement

Published 9:46 am Thursday, January 28, 2016

The annual argument over county funding for the school system could be a bit less contentious this year – if a proposal is approved by the two governing boards.

County Manager Mike Ruffin presented a proposal at a workshop with county commissioners last week.

County money to the schools includes two appropriations – one to the local current expense fund and another to the capital outlay fund.

According to the proposal, beginning with the budget that begins July 1:

• the board of education will receive 41.3% of the property tax collected for current expense (The fire tax and the tax collected to pay for the debt of the new Davie High School will be deducted for the percentage is calculated.);

• the county can add funds upon request from the board of education;

• until the debt for Ellis Middle is paid, the county will retain $300,000 of sales and use tax normally allocated to the board of education, to retire indebetness incurred by the county for public school capital outlay;

• the board of education will draw down $200,000 annually from the N.C. Lottery Fund to apply to the debt service for the new high school.

“The county is an integral part of the structure of public education,” according to the proposed agreement. “The county must include appropriations … sufficient to support a system of free public schools.”