By Kip Tabb | Outer Banks Voice on August 9, 2022
Following an Aug. 5 Hyde County Board of Education meeting to address school budget issues, Board of Education Chair Angela Todd has sent a letter to County Commissioner Chair Earl Pugh and County Manager Kris Noble informing them that under state guidelines, the schools qualify for $75,000 more than the $1.712 million the commissioners authorized on July 28.
“We are entitled to $1,787,161.85 under N.C. Gen. Stat. §115C-431, and the Board of Education needs and is requesting this amount,” Todd wrote in her letter.
In an action that triggered a month-long budget dispute, the commissioners had originally voted to reduce the school budget request by about $400,000 to $1.3 million. But on July 28, after a mediation effort ended in an impasse, the commissioners voted to add those funds back.
According to Todd, neither she nor then Interim Superintendent Steve Blackstock had been told the commissioners would cut the $1.712 million request by 23.5% until a May budget workshop.
“He (Blackstock) submitted our budget request to the county which was the same 1.7 million from the previous years with the added request of $12,000 to…offset changes in waste disposal. Mr. Blackstock was operating with the understanding that the county would grant the request because that was the way it had been done the previous three years,” Todd wrote in an email to the Voice.
During the dispute over the $400,000, the board of education and the county submitted their budgets to mediation, which did not result in a resolution. According to Hyde Board of Education attorney Richard Schwartz, without a mediated settlement, the state formula for funding a school district mandates the additional $75,000 Todd and the board have now requested from county officials.
Hyde County officials were contacted for comment on Todd’s letter and have indicated they will provide a response on Wednesday, Aug. 10.