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ECPPS to seek $700K budget hike

Larry Cartner.JPG

Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools Superintendent Larry Cartner, shown speaking at the 16th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Breakfast in January, has proposed a $700K local school expense budget for 2018-19.

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By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools staff is proposing an increase of about $700,0000 in local operating funds for the upcoming budget year.

The board of education, which discussed the budget figures at a committee meeting Monday afternoon, will consider the staff proposal at its regular meeting April 23. The proposal calls for $11.8 million in current expense funding for 2018-2019, up from $11.1 million in the current budget. Proposed capital outlay is $4.05 million.

ECPPS Superintendent Larry Cartner said the local contribution for charter school students is increasing and is expected to total $575,000 in next year’s budget.

School officials are slated to meet with the county commissioners May 7 at 2 p.m. to present the local budget request.

At the beginning of the budget process last year, Cartner asked county officials for $15.8 million in operating funds for the 2017-2018 budget year.

In addition, Cartner last year presented the county commissioners the figure of $12.3 million, which he said was what the local school system needed in order to maintain current services.

During last year's budget discussion the county commissioners initially proposed funding ECPPS current expense at $10.9 million before eventually agreeing to a figure of $11.1 million.

Cartner told the school board at the committee meeting Monday that staff had a goal of presenting a hold-the-line budget for current expense because there will be a significant request for capital outlay.

The requests that came in from the schools and departments totaled $15 million and were all things that were needed, Cartner said. But he added that the current expense proposal was trimmed back because of the significant capital needs the schools are facing.

One major project looming over the 2018-2019 budget year is the design and construction of a new heating and cooling system for Northside Elementary School. The HVAC system’s inadequacy became especially evident when temperatures dropped below normal levels in January.

School officials currently are looking at engineering and designing the new system over the summer and then phasing in construction during the coming year. Although major construction and renovation are usually done when students are not in the building, the ECPPS maintenance staff has determined that the phasing could allow the work to be done while students are in school.

The maintenance staff also has a plan to get the current system through the upcoming winter until the new system can come on-line.

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