Grayson County schools see improvements one year after budget crisis

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INDEPENDENCE (WSLS 10) - The Grayson County School Board recently approved a budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The budget includes two percent pay raises for all employees in the school system. This is a sharp contrast from about a year ago when the district was $1 million in debt.

Parents like Tracy Anderson said they have noticed an improvement from last year.  "Emotionally I feel great," Anderson said. "We're excited, the community is excited."

Anderson said he feels content with this fiscal year's budget, however, he remains skeptical.

"I like the idea of things being added or improved, but at the same time, a year ago our school couldn't afford toilet paper," said Anderson.

According to Grayson County Schools Superintendent Kelly Wilmore, the upcoming budget is approximately $20 million.

"We're really excited about the budget," Wilmore said. "We don't think we've asked for anything, well know we haven't asked anything we don't need."

In addition to the raises, the budget covers the 13 percent health insurance increase, and two new art positions at the elementary school. Slight renovations, like locker room upgrades and fresh paint on the schools' walls will also be included.

"We're pretty excited our high school is long overdue for some renovations it is definitely in need," Wilmore said. "Next year we plan to do our CATE center and middle school and we're doing it one step at a time with what we got."

Wilmore said the reason for the turnaround is because they are getting more than $500,000 in additional state funding this year.

"It's not inflated by any means," Wilmore said. "The inflation you see is because of the state increase."

Grayson County Administrator Jonathan Sweet says this gives the county ample time to work on their budget.

"The county was pleasantly surprised to see the school board has passed its budget so early this year," said Sweet. "We feel the budget presented to the Board of Supervisors this year is much more accurate, a better base for what we actually anticipate spending."