Montgomery Public Schools board passes fiscal 2023 budget

Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 10:48 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - While the newly approved Montgomery Public Schools budget for fiscal year 2023 is leaner than years past, the school board feels the budget is strong.

$240 million was unanimously passed for the school system’s general fund. That’s $10 million less than last year. MPS cites a shrinking student population as a top reason why.

The school system’s chief financial officer said MPS is too dependent on state funds at Tuesday’s budget hearing. That will soon change.

The tax increase passed by voters in 2020 to benefit MPS goes into effect in 2024.

“We’ll be able to do some things constructionwise that have been neglected for numbers of years. I would even venture to say a couple of decades,” MPS Superintendent Melvin Brown said. “So we’re excited to have that opportunity to make our district look equitable.”

It was something MPS board members were optimistic about, even two years after the tax vote.

“Our ad valorem taxes are a consistent stream of revenue where we’re allowed to do a lot for our students versus sale taxes, which fluctuate,” said District 7 board member Arica Watkins-Smith.

$3.4 million will benefit “athletic supplements,” while $1 million will go toward “academic supplements” for school clubs. The superintendent believes this is an investment in student success.

“Our goal is to get as many dollars into classrooms as possible,” Brown said. “We know we need to do some things in a big way to make sure our academic program looks the way it should and our kids are getting the results that they should get and deserve.”

Another topic that came up at the meeting involved the 4% pay increase for teachers mandated by the state. MPS approved raises for support staff and bus drivers last year.

The budget is now headed to state department for approval.

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