February 5, 2007
There are 5,000 students within the Orange County school division.
Working with those students are 800 staff members. Signing the staff members' paycheck is school superintendent William Crawford who believes he needs more money to keep the schools up to standards.
"Our budget for the year is right at $49,969,151; so approximately $50M," said Crawford.
The multi-million dollar request for next year includes a $5M dollar increase from this year's budget. Dr. Crawford says it may seem like a lot, but it is not when you look at what it pays for.
"Everything from running the buses, from doing the lunches, and from paying our staff members," said Crawford.
The superintendent calculates the bulk of the budget will be spent on payroll and operational costs. Payroll covers a six percent increase for every full-time staff-member. Operational covers the addition of more than 300 kids to the rolls for next year.
"We actually are bursting at the seams if you look at 331 students. With 331 students, if you could put those all into one grade level, you'll see an elementary school," said Crawford.
The superintendent in his second year knows just because he asked for an amount does not mean he will get it.
"I'm well aware that we may not get all that we are asking for, and that is okay too. I think it is my job to put forth our needs," said Crawford.
The superintendent will present the $50M budget to the Orange County Board of Supervisors for approval later this month.