Kingsport City Schools consists of 13 schools ranging from Pre-K to High School. The system’s vision is to, Inspire. Cultivate. Impact. which includes the commitment to delivering world-class curriculum and instruction to all students, as well as providing committed and innovative educators. In doing so, it is vital that funds are distributed strategically to ensure world-class instruction and to recruit and retain top employees.
The following information is a snapshot of the 2020-2021 fiscal year (FY) to provide a better understanding of how funds were allocated and to review the financial operations of the system as a whole. A KCS FY ends on June 30.
District operations are comprised of four different funds: General Purpose School Fund, School Nutrition Services Fund, Federal School Projects Fund, and School Special Projects Fund. Overall disbursements totaled $90.2 million for FY 2020-2021.
The General Purpose School Fund provides the resources necessary to sustain day-to-day activities and pays for the majority of administrative and operating expenses. This encompasses approximately 90 percent of all employees (salaries/benefits), instructional support, operations/maintenance, utilities, student transportation, technology, professional learning, human resources, insurance, support services, and administration. For FY 2020-2021, expenditures from the General Purpose School Fund were $80.1 million.
School Nutrition Services Fund disbursements totaled $3.6 million for all food service operating costs in FY 2020-2021, including administrative support, maintenance, warehousing, insurance, and accounting. This fund is totally self-supporting and is operated under the federally funded National School Lunch and Child Nutrition Acts. No General Purpose fund support is required for the fund, as revenues are derived primarily from food sales and Federal and State aid.
Federal School Projects Fund disbursements totaled $5.4 million for FY 2020-2021. The two Federal programs that are the largest sources of Federal funding, as well as mandates are: Title I grants (the main source of federal funding for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and IDEA grants (special education funding under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)). In addition, financial support is given to other federal projects such as Title II and the Carl D. Perkins Vocational grant.
The fourth fund, School Special Projects, had $1.1 million in disbursements. These funds help finance district departments such as the Family Resource Center, the Homeless Education program, and Pre-K programs. It also serves as a pool of grant funding for any grant that has been awarded to a teacher or school and serves as a resource where teachers/schools can pull funds to implement a project for the classroom. Funding for grants comes from various resources ranging from Federal, State, and local donors.
In FY 2020-2021 classified employees received their normal step increase. For certified employees, FY 2020-2021 was the beginning of a transition to a more traditional teacher pay scale. This pay scale is based on degree levels and steps that represent years of experience. All teachers were placed on the pay scale based on their degree level and previous salary. The FY 2020-2021 school year was the first of a multi-year transition to place teachers on their current steps representing their actual years of experience.
In maintaining a world-class educational approach, KCS continued the 1:1 technology device program for students in grades 4-12. All students in grades 4-12 have been issued a technology device.
In FY 2020-2021 the planning for the renovation of Sullivan North High School for relocation of Sevier Middle School began. An architect was chosen and contracted with for the renovation. In addition, the replacement of the Lincoln Elementary School playground began. This project is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2021.
KCS undertakes a comprehensive budget process each year. In early December, a discussion of the budget process and approaching timeline is held with the Board of Education (BOE). In mid-December, budget materials are sent to principals/administrators who prepare budget requests. By mid-January, budget materials are returned to the Chief Finance Officer. In late January/mid-February, the Budget Review Committee meets to hear budget presentations from principals/administrators. In February and March, the Budget Review Committee and staff compile a recommended budget to present to the BOE in April. Upon review, the BOE will approve the budget in May. Once the BOE approves the KCS budget, it is presented to the Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen (BMA) in May. Upon review and approval by the BMA, funds are distributed to KCS. All meetings are open to the public.
KCS prides itself on being fiscally responsible by allocating over 75 percent of all funds toward direct education/instruction.