LSS board passes $7.28M general fund budget

LSS logoA balanced general fund budget of approximately $7.28 million passed at the Lakeland School System board meeting on April 13.

At last week’s April 6 work session, superintendent Ted Horrell walked the board through a presentation about the balanced budget.

The new budget reflects an increase of $279,725 (or just under 4 percent) over the 2014-15 budget of $7,002,213.

Revenue Summary


2015-16 Budget

2014-15 Projected

2014-15 Actual

Grand total revenues




TotalCounty taxes




TotalCharges for services
TotalRecurring local revenue




TotalState education funds




TotalOther state revenue




TotalFederal funds received through state
TotalDirect federal revenue
TotalOther sources
The above table is the revenue summary page in the 2015-16 Lakeland School System's general fund budget as adopted by the school board on April 13, 2015. For the full general fund budget, see the district's website. The budget is now pending approval by the Lakeland city board.

Expenditures Summary


2015-16 PERS

2015-16 BUDGET


2014-15 ACTUAL






TotalRegular instruction





TotalSpecial Education instruction









TotalHealth services





TotalOther student support





TotalSupport: Regular instruction





TotalSupport: Special Education





TotalBoard of Education Services





Office of Superintendent





Office of principal





Fiscal services





Human resources





Operation of plant





Maintenance of plant









Special services (technology)





Regular capital outlay




School safety




The above table is the expenditures summary page in the 2015-16 Lakeland School System's general fund budget as adopted by the school board on April 13, 2015. For the full general fund budget, see the district's website. The budget is now pending approval by the Lakeland city board.

A look at key points

Horrell said on April 6 he is confident the current school year will come in under budget, and the one for next year does not contain a lot of radical changes.

For 2015-16, he expects the district to continue operating a lean and efficient system and still set aside some reserve funds. To be conservative, he based it on the same student count of 834 used in setting the district’s first budget, although he anticipates enrollment will be slightly higher.

Nearly 80 percent of the budget goes to pay for personnel and their benefits, as it does for nearly any school district, he said. This budget includes step increases for all the teachers who are eligible. Hiring of some newer teachers on the lower end of the salary scale also made this possible.

He noted that an additional special education assistant had to be added this school year, and the district anticipates the need to hire another one for the preschool classroom next year to meet students’ special needs.

A coordinated school health grant may be able to fund the entirety of a position and possibly the addition of a part-time nurse.

Horrell also said that the specific federal programs’ budgets, state grants’ budgets and cafeteria budgets are still being developed, but this general fund budget needed to be provided now for the city’s budgeting purposes.

The major increase in one area — for the Board of Education Services – was the putting of $100,000 into health insurance for retirees — essentially the district’s contribution to Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB).

The budget includes an increase for the superintendent’s secretary to reflect increased hours and duties. The office of the principal includes step increases for administration and the addition of lunchroom monitors.

Bartlett City Schools’ operations department will continue to serve as the LSS maintenance department at specified fees for needed work. “That’s been a great cost-effective partnership for us,” Horrell said.

Last year the district over-budgeted for transportation and ended up saving on costs because neighboring districts were able to share buses efficiently and gas prices were good, Horrell said. He’s comfortable that this year’s transportation budget will cover the district’s needs.

This budget does include money to buy new laptops for teachers and staff. Most districts made the purchase last year, but Lakeland’s superintendent was reluctant to sign up for that expense in the district’s first year of operations.

A $55,000 budget item will be used for technology infrastructure (the school network). He anticipates it will be a two- to three-year project.

Horrell noted that the budget does not include the Lakeland Prep project, as the land, design and construction costs for that facility are expected to be funded separately. (The city’s vote on a $50 million bond issuance will conclude on April 16.)

The majority of the school safety funds come from a grant. This year, most was used to develop the emergency response manual. Next year, the money may be used for enhancements to the school safety plan, Horrell said.

The 2015-16 general fund budget will now be forwarded to the mayor and city board for their review and, Horrell said.

See all 25 pages of the budget on the district’s website.

Written by Carolyn Bahm, Express editor. Contact her at (901) 433-9138 or via email to