Montgomery Public Schools expecting smaller budget for fiscal 2023

Published: Sep. 6, 2022 at 10:34 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Montgomery Public Schools board has been busy discussing its proposed budget for fiscal year 2023, which will likely be leaner than years past.

One of the biggest reasons for a smaller budget is a shrinking school system. With fewer students enrolled in MPS, school board members are expecting less money from the state.

“Anytime you have a loss of student population, then you will have a loss of funding,” said MPS Chief Financial Officer Arthur Watts.

Nearly 800 students have left the school system over the past year.

The 2022 general fund consisted of $250 million, but that could decrease to $240 million in 2023. Those dollars go toward staffing, utilities and supplies.

Now, the school district working strategically, especially with federal COVID-19 funding expiring in 2024.

“Whether it is in the education arena, whether it’s in the operation and maintenance arena, whether it’s in the transportation arena, we just want to ensure that we have the funds available to meet the needs of our students,” Watts said.

Another potential hurdle for MPS, and school’s across the state, could be a possible recession.

“What would be the impact on our students?” District 7 board member Arica Watkins-Smith said.

Watts ensured the public MPS is prepping incase the economy does take a downturn.

“There’s been many indicators out there to say that that will happen,” he said. “It’s more of a balancing act with the Fed, and so we just want to make sure that we’re prepared if that does happen.”

The MPS board plans to meet next Tuesday to vote on the budget before sending it to the state.

The second budget hearing will take place at Carver High School at 5 p.m.

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