AMORY – Monroe County School District Business Administrator Sayonia Garvin had good news during July 18’s budget hearing. She said the district did not need to request an ad valorem tax increase for the coming fiscal year, despite continuing underfunding from the Mississippi Adequate Education Program.

“Our assessed valuation is up $4 million from last year. Personal property valuations are up $2.6 million, and vehicle valuations are up $1.6 million,” she said.

The millage rate of 41.48 is expected to decrease to 40 mills plus one mill for debt service.

The upcoming budget of approximately $17 million includes adding three new buses to the district’s fleet.

Superintendent Brian Jernigan was pleased with the news.

“Our mission is to continue to add to the fund balance every year,” he said.

District 3 board member Chris Markham expressed his pleasure on behalf of the employees of the district.

“I’m proud we can give every employee a pay raise while taxes are going down,” he said.

According to Jernigan, the state legislature provided for the pay raise.

“The $1,500 from the state was applied to teachers, assistants and other employees whose salaries are based on the teacher scale. All other employees received percentage raise,” he said, adding all district employees received a raise.

Board president Linda Bickerstaff offered perspective on the matter.

“Financial management determines what our kids get,” she said.

The board will meet at 1 p.m. on Aug. 9 to officially adopt the budget.

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