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Lanett BOE approves budget

By Wayne Clark

LANETT — The Lanett City Board of Education gave final approval to a budget for the 2018-19 school year Monday afternoon. The annual spending plan has approximately $9.6 million in revenues and $9.3 million in expenditures.

“It’s a good budget,” said Superintendent Phillip Johnson, noting some increases in federal funding this year in the form of Title IV spending under safe and healthy schools.

Close to two-thirds of the revenue, more than $6.1 million, will come from the state. Local and state government will each provide over $1.6 million.

W.O. Lance Elementary, which has over 600 students, will receive over $4.2 million; Lanett Junior High, which has around 110 students, will get slightly more than $1 with Lanett High getting $2.5 million.

Johnson thanked the system’s new chief financial officer, Gwyn Barnes, for outstanding work in getting the budget together. “She worked day and night on it,” he  said.

“You did a great job,” said Board President Gwen Harris-Brooks.

Johnson said that the extra funding in Title IV would help the system’s STEM and safe and healthy schools programs. “It’s a nice, broad, flexible funding stream,” he said. “It’s approved in three-year increments.”

The board approved the system’s English Learning plan. Federal Programs Coordinator Christy Carpenter explained to the board that this helps the system’s Latino student population.

“Our English Learning population is continuing to grow,” she said. “We have EL students in all three schools. Our goal is for them to learn English and their academic skills at the same time. We have a partnership with Southern Union’s adult education program where their parents are learning to speak English.”

The board approved an out of state travel request for Enrichment teacher Mary Andrews and 13 students from W.O. Lance Elementary to travel to Callaway Gardens in October. “This trip,” said Johnson, “will provide hands-on training for the students to expand their study of ecosystems. It will create a background for future independent study of animals, aligning with several science course of study state standards.”

Johnson said he was well-pleased with a visit Lanett schools recently received from officials from Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia and Korea to visit STEM classes that were being taught.

“We are proud they came to see us,” he said.

Board Member Katie Walton said she had been most impressed by the pre-game presentations by the Lanett JROTC at Lanett football games. “It’s a good, character-building program,” Johnson said.