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Watson Chapel School Board accepts $28M budget

by I.C. Murrell | September 13, 2022 at 3:46 a.m.
Coleman Elementary student Na'riya Ackles displays an essay she wrote while sharing an excerpt of it with Watson Chapel School Board members Monday evening. (Pine Bluff Commercial/I.C. Murrell)

Watson Chapel School Board members approved a budget of more than $28 million for the 2022-23 school year Monday.

The district has forecast receiving $28,059,884 in local, state and federal revenue, an uptick of more than $200,000 from 2021-22. But a rise in purchased property services costs from $1,138,856 last school year to $2,736,016 for this school year is expected, as well as a jump in supplies and materials costs from $3,065,331 to $3,763,976.

Those costs are among the total expenditures of $28,177,644, which would leave the district with an ending balance of $3,487,167. That would be down slightly from the starting balance of $3,604,927.

The Watson Chapel School District has already committed $500,000 to upgrades at Coleman Elementary School and recently passed a 5.7-mill increase to 39.8 to cover its part of a cost-share agreement with the Arkansas Department of Education for the construction of a new high school.


Coleman student Na'riya Ackles was one of many students honored as the district's Wildcat Warriors for September.

Na'riya, wearing her pageant sash and tiara from the National American Miss organization, composed a speech she delivers during her contests to encourage children of all races to make friends with one another.

"When we come together, we can change the world and we can make all come together as one and separate happiness from ugliness," Na'riya wrote in her speech.

Members of the Watson Chapel High girls basketball team and Junior ROTC volunteered with Imagination Library, which distributes free books to children each month until they turn 5. Each of the honored students was credited with 10 volunteer hours.


Board members approved a retention plan using American Rescue Plan funding to reward teachers for their attendance.

Each certified employee in the WCSD can earn $2,500 per semester for attending 95% or more of the in-class days, which means one cannot miss more than seven days per semester.


Eleven new employees were hired in the district: Virginia Henderson as a social studies teacher; Regina Jones as an elementary teacher; Chazeray McHenry as a social studies teacher and assistant coach; FayLisa Suggs as a special education teacher; Ernest Wooten as a bus monitor; Chelsey Dion as a cafeteria worker; Linda Banks, Watheda Hollis, Patricia McClinton and Dorothy Terry as cafeteria substitutes and Terrell Seets as a computer technician.

The district accepted resignations from cafeteria worker Sandra Fults, and secondary teachers Gary Rittenhouse and Tausha Stone. Bus driver Gene Rainey tendered his retirement.

  photo  Members of the Watson Chapel High girls basketball team and Junior ROTC receive Wildcat Warrior certificates for volunteering with the Imagination Library. (Pine Bluff Commercial/I.C. Murrell)

Print Headline: WCSD board accepts $28M budget


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