Meridian school bus

File photo

Meridian Public School District

The Meridian Public School District is looking at a budget of $62.45 million for the 2020-2021 school year. 

The proposed budget is about $1.05 million less than the  2019-2020 budget of $63.52 million.

Chief Financial Officer Carolyn Davis told the school board Monday that the district saw a decrease in student enrollment from 5905 students in 2015 to 5143 this year. 

Superintendent Amy Carter said declining student enrollment is a statewide issue, with people leaving the Meridian area for jobs elsewhere.

The budget includes funds from local, state and federal sources as well as 16th section revenue. 

Concerning local revenues, which includes property taxes, the district expects to see $133,958 less than last year.

State revenue is expected to decrease by $488,732, while federal money is expected to be $432,194 less than last year. 

16th section revenue is expected to remain stable in the proposed budget. 

Expenditures, which include instruction, student support, food services and  transportation, is expected to be about $67.7 million. 

The board will hold a public hearing on the budget at 5 p.m. on July 20 at the Meridian High School multi-purpose building located at 2320 32nd Street.

Other business 

In other matters, the board approved $3.09 million in COVD-19 related funds from the Mississippi Department of Education.

Federal Programs Director Kelly Speed said the money will be used for outreach to students with disabilities, long term instructional needs, mental health support, technology, and after school and summer learning programs. 

The district also approved an online learning management system called Canvas for high schoolers. Some students are already using the system to take classes at Meridian Community College, Speed said. 

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