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TMCNet:  Kannapolis schools approve budget request

[April 10, 2013]

Kannapolis schools approve budget request

Apr 09, 2013 (Independent Tribune - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- KANNAPOLIS, N.C. -- Computers, replacement school bus cameras and a local family advocate position top the budget request from Kannapolis City Schools to Cabarrus County for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

The request includes $471,334 for capital (computers included), $247,403 for continuation of current level of service for current expense and $335,623 for expansion of current expense.

The school board unanimously approved the request, which goes to Cabarrus County Commissioners for consideration in May.

The current expense requests are on top of what Kannapolis received from Cabarrus County for the current budget year, according to Will Crabtree, director of business operations for the school system.

"A very reasonable capital request, I believe," Crabtree said.

The budget request is asking for 32 cameras to replace aging cameras on school buses. The cost is $90,000, Crabtree said. "It's time to replace aging and failing cameras." The proposal is asking for 30 Dell Wyse P-25 Zero client devices each for five Kannapolis elementary schools. The total cost is $60,000.

Crabtree said the devices allow the schools to create computer stations similar to a desktop by creating a virtualization connected to the school's server. It is less expensive than buying desktop computers.

Other computer requests include: 40 laptops for A.L. Brown; 30 laptops for Kannapolis Intermediate; 20 laptops for Forest Park Elementary; three iPad carts with 25 iPads for Kannapolis Middle; an iPad cart with 25 iPads each for Jackson Park and Forest Park; and maintenance agreements and licenses for software.

Superintendent Pam Cain said the system hopes to have computers in place and students using them for a while before they are required to take testing on the computers.

The capital request also includes $60,000 for upgrades to the sound and lighting systems at the Kannapolis Performing Arts Center at A.L. Brown.

Kannapolis schools are expecting an increase in kindergartners and first-graders at Jackson Park, Shady Brook and Woodrow Wilson elementary schools, which would require three new teachers with an estimated cost of $131,532, Crabtree said. It also would require a teacher assistant at two of the schools.

Gov. Pat McCrory's budget includes a 1 percent raise for teachers, and that would mean the system would need to give a similar raise to locally paid teachers ($31,504 total), Crabtree said.

A family advocate position is part of the expansion budget request.

"I think we desperately need a social worker," school board member Doris Buchanan said.

Officials said the family advocate would be similar to a social worker and be able to connect students and families with needed community resources.

The advocate would be based at Kannapolis Middle School, which seems to have the greatest need but would be available to work system-wide. The estimated cost is $30,500 for the position.

The expansion request also includes two elementary and one intermediate health and physical education teachers. These locally-paid positions would cost $130,767.

Other expansion items are: two academically and intellectually gifted teachers ($87,178); a STEM teacher at Jackson Park Elementary ($43,589); and an ACT/English teacher for A.L. Brown ($43,589).

Contact Mark Plemmons at 704-789-9140.

___ (c)2013 the Independent Tribune (Kannapolis, N.C.) Visit the Independent Tribune (Kannapolis, N.C.) at www.independenttribune.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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