Pocahontas County Schools Operated in the Red this Past FY

At its July 27th meeting, the Pocahontas County Board of Education released its final monthly Revenue and Expenditure Summary for June which is the final monthly summary for Fiscal Year 2014-2015. That Fiscal Year ended on June 30, 2015. The released June summary showed a deficit of $2,317,578.

Sherry Radcliff, the Treasurer and Director of Finance for the County schools, briefed the Board about this.

“This is for the month of June, and you will see that revenues are almost $2 million dollars less than our expenses” Radcliff explains. “We had $9,603, 094 – that’s year to date- and year to date expenses is $11,920,672, which is comparative to last year’s year to dates, so it’s no surprise.”

Sherry pointed out that the summary of revenues is actually higher than this monthly report shows because of a couple of revenue sources have not yet been added into the month of June yet.

“I have not put in the retirement and PEIA allocations for revenue (for June)” Radcliff pointed out.

Radcliff states that the deficit reflects that revenue from taxes is down, and the School’s budget for last year was based upon the amount of tax money that should come in, but people usually wait until the end of August to pay their taxes. The schools do a “receivable” which means that any of last year’s unpaid taxes will be credited to the past Fiscal Year if it is paid in July or August. This should correct most if not all of last Fiscal Year’s deficit.

In other actions, the Board approved paying a total of $24,287.63 in vender claims, much of which was for utilities and trash services.

They also approved Extra Duty Pay for employees for June in the amount of $71,121.47 which was spread out among 88 employees. These payments included payments for bus drivers for extra trips, coaches’ supplements, and a number of teachers for extra duty.

The Board approved a Memorandum of Understanding with Education Alliance whereby the Board agreed to sponsor 2 half-time AmeriCorps members at $1,750 each for the upcoming school year. This program is part of the Dropout Prevention Program and used to be paid for by a grant but since the grant has ended; the Board will pick up the cost.

They also approved three grants:

The first one is for $19,461 and is from the West Virginia Department of Education for Literacy. The purpose of this grant is to bring students up to Grade Level in reading.

The second grant is also sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Education in the amount of $18,919. This grant is for Technical and Adult Education programs.

The third grant is for $20,000 ls by the state Department of Education and is for the Agribusiness program at the high school.

Mr. Beam, the Interim Superintendent reported that they have been having difficulties filling several teaching positions. He also said that they will be adding a new elective Computer Science Class this year.

After a lengthy closed Executive session, the Board voted down the proposed discipline action against Welding Teacher Dervin Lambert and replaced it with a stiffer punishment. The original proposal was for a 5 day suspension. The Board voted to impose a 10 day suspension; classroom observation; mandatory mentoring; and that Lambert is required to attend classroom control classes.

Although no details about this were released, in previous Board meetings it was stated that the investigation into the injury to a student in welding class would be complete by this meeting and would be addressed by the Board at this meeting.

In other personnel actions, the Board accepted the resignation of Anne M. Puckett as a Health teacher at the high school.

They hired Gary T. Rose as a Substitute Bus Driver

They hired John W. Evans for a Maintenance /Plumbing/Air Conditioning Mechanic/Painter position with the School system.

Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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