KINGSPORT — Although Kingsport Board of Education Vice President Carrie Upshaw recently described crafting the 2012-13 school budget as “gnawing on bones,” since 2004-05 the city’s direct appropriation to the school system’s operating budget has increased by more than $1.7 million.
The BOE, however, has asked for a more than $2.4 million increase in that appropriation for next year’s budget, which would total $64.89 million compared to the 2011-12 current year budget of $61.42 million.
In addition to money from the city, Kingsport’s school system receives funding from the state — mainly through the Basic Education Program — and county — consisting of the city school system’s share of the countywide property tax and local option sales tax.
The Tennessee Department of Education reports that Kingsport in 2010-11 — the latest data available — received 52.8 percent of its budget from local funding, 11.7 percent from federal funding, and 35.5 percent from state funding and had a per-pupil expenditure of $10,189. The statewide average was 38.7 percent local, 15.1 percent federal and 46.2 percent state for a per-pupil amount of $9,084.
Separate budgets for the city school system include the debt service payments for capital the city pays, a self-supporting school nutrition fund, a federal projects budget, and a special projects budget.
From a $7.73 million contribution in 2004-05 to a $9.5 million contribution in 2011-12, the city has increased its appropriation to the school system’s operating budget by $1.77 million or 22.9 percent. Unlike the county, the city does not designate a portion of the property tax rate to education.
By far the biggest recent jumps in city appropriations came in the 2005-06 school year, when the city appropriated $8.72 million to the operating budget, up almost $1 million over the previous year.
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