KEYSER - The Mineral County Board of Education this week approved a slightly larger budget than last year, with the acknowledgement that things could change since the state has not yet passed its own budget.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
@lizbeavers1
KEYSER - The Mineral County Board of Education this week approved a slightly larger budget than last year, with the acknowledgement that things could change since the state has not yet passed its own budget.
The total 2018 budget approved by the board is $51.7 million, while the current year budget is $50.4 million.
Rhonda Martin, chief business official for the county, presented the budget to the board members on Wednesday, noting that total general revenue is projected to be $42,811,336. To that is added $8,335,822 in special revenues (local taxes, state aid and federal funding), and  $600,000 in the permanent improvement fund.
In order to balance the expected revenue with the expenses, Martin said $560,000 in carry-over funds are included.
“Local tax collection went up, but state aid was down due to loss of enrollment,” she said.
“Our enrollment is steadily declining,” she said, showing a bar graph which listed the 2012-2013 enrollment as 4,244 and the 2016-2017 enrollment as 4,165.
Of the total budget, Martin explained that 66 percent comes from state aid, 30 percent from local sources, 4 percent from carryover, and less than 1 percent from the federal government.
And while the state aid is in limbo due to the current impasse over the state’s budget, Martin noted that one local factor affecting the budget in a huge way are the number of positions which Mineral County must fund itself because there are more than allowed by state aid.
Noting that there are 13.15 professional positions and 24.87 service  personnel over the state formula, Martin said, “These positions are not paid by the state aid formula. They’re picked up by the county.”
Board member and retired superintendent Rob Woy noted the importance of the county’s excess levy to the day-to-day operation of the school system.
“A lot of people think we have an excess levy, and we ought to be able to afford a lot of things,” he said. “In reality, we couldn’t live without it.”
Board vice president Lara Courrier made a motion to approve the budget as presented, and Woy seconded it. The motion passed unanimously.
It will now be presented to the West  Virginia Department of Education for final approval.