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County schools report enrollment growth

By Staff
Kim West
The Franklin County Board of Education approved the 2008-09 budget during its monthly meeting and budget hearing last Thursday.
The $33.7 million budget for the fiscal year Oct. 1, 2008 through Sept. 30, 2009 includes approximately $33,698,246 in expenditures.
"Health insurance actually went down this year from $9,300 per person to $9,024 per person but our retirement match went up 11.75 percent, and it has tripled in the last six years," said Carla Knight, accountant and chief financial officer for Franklin County Schools. "Some of our employee's benefits actually cost more than their salaries."
Superintendent Bill Moss said the biggest area of concern is the rising cost of utilities.
"Right now utilities are costing us $100,000 per month," Moss said. "I met with the principals (last week) and asked them to be very cautious of using utilities at their schools. We're going to have to monitor utility costs very closely."
The county system reported an overall growth in enrollment as four schools experienced a boost in numbers – Tharptown Elementary School, Tharptown High School, East Franklin Junior High School and Vina High School. Tharptown Elementary now has 334 students, while the high school has 235 students, including 35 in its first-ever senior class.
"We went from 3,129 total students last spring to 3,222 as of Aug. 21," Knight said. "The most significant growth was at Tharptown Elementary and Tharptown High School. Phil Campbell Elementary and Phil Campbell High School's numbers were even with last year's, while Belgreen and Red Bay had a decrease in total students."
Red Bay has the most overall students with 792 in grades K-12, while East Franklin has 196 enrolled in grades K-9. Belgreen has the second-highest overall enrollment with 469 students in pre-K through twelfth grades, while Vina reported 345 in grades K-12. Phil Campbell has 455 in pre-K through sixth grades and 395 in grades 7-9.
In other business the board:
The next board meeting is Thursday, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m

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