The Duncan Banner

Local News

January 13, 2013

Financial strain impacts Duncan School District

DUNCAN — As a result of decreased gross production, the Duncan School District is feeling some financial strain.

The school district is midway through the fiscal year, and while finances started the fiscal year out well, the district, along with other school districts throughout Oklahoma, are all facing a funding shortfall.

“Gross production is down across the state,” Rodney Calhoun, Duncan Public School assistant superintendent of finances, said. “It’s kind of nerve wracking. The next six months, we’ll be pinching pennies.”

Gross production is money school districts receive from gas, oil and natural gas production. Gross production makes up part of the income a school district has for various expenditures, including staff salaries.

Gross production is also a chargeable for the school district, and chargeables include school land earnings.

Calhoun said the decline in gross production is just another step in a series of financial hiccups for Oklahoma school districts in the past few years.

“It’s been an ongoing battle with finances,” Calhoun said.

“This year, we have more student than we’ve had in a long time.”

The decreased gross production leaves Duncan Public Schools about $500,000 less than it was this time last year, he said. Whenever school districts experience a decrease in income, as with gross production, the Oklahoma State Department of Education is supposed to help reimburse school districts.

Calhoun said this usually comes through the midterm adjustment, which provides the State Department with an opportunity to re-evaluate how much money a school district receives from the state.

Despite the potential of receiving money from the state, Calhoun isn’t ready to breath easy. Instead, he’s waiting to see if an when that money would arrive for the school district.

“Everything makes me nervous when it comes to money,” Calhoun said. “I want to see the kids have the things they need, including the number of teachers.”

He said the administrative staff for Duncan Public Schools, including Superintendent Sherry Labyer, has discussed the shortage, but no action is being taken at this point. He said there are plenty of ways for the school district to cut expenditures if thing reach that point.

“We’re waiting to see what the State Department does before we have a plan,” Calhoun said. “We have to be smart about what we’re spending our money on. Dr. Labyer has been good on that for the last five years.”

Calhoun said the recession, which began in 2008, has caused the school district to feel financial strain every year. And while finances will continue to be tight, Calhoun said things usually have a way of working out for Duncan Public Schools.

“We always come out on top,” he said.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Bench found competent, trial to start Monday

    A jury took 50 minutes on Thursday to find Miles Sterling Bench competent to stand trial for first-degree murder  and District Judge Joe Enos scheduled the trial to begin Monday.
    Bench, 23, of, Velma, is accused of the bludgeoning death of 16-year-old Braylee Henry of Velma. She was killed in June 2012 in the Teepee Totem convenience store in Velma where Bench was employed.

    April 18, 2014

  • 4-18 Miller and Decathlon 0016.jpg Miller pumps up decathlon students

    Dr. Ché Miller, who helped bridge a funding gap needed to send the Duncan High School Decathlon Team to the national competition in Hawaii, gave the team a pep talk on Thursday.
    Miller, recently recognized as the Man of the Year by the Duncan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told the students they are about to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and advised them to absorb as much of the experience as they can.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Churches prepare for Easter Sunday

    Churches throughout Duncan and Stephens County are preparing to celebrate Easter this Sunday, the day Christians celebrate the ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven.
    Today is known as Good Friday to mark the day Christ was crucified on a cross.

    April 18, 2014

  • 4-18 lauren-ellis mug.jpg Ellis named new CEO of regional United Way

    Lauren Ellis, who’s led the United Way of Stephens County for more than two years, has been named the new chief executive officer of the United Way of Southwest Oklahoma.
    Her new job will be based in Lawton but Ellis said she will remain in Duncan and commute.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jurors to decide Bench competency issue today

    Jurors will hear final arguments on Thursday and then be asked to determine whether  23-year-old Miles Sterling Bench is mentally competent to stand trial for first-degree murder in the bludgeoning death of 16-year-old Braylee Henry nearly two years ago.

    April 17, 2014

  • 4-17 Decathlon Team1 0127.jpg DHS Decathlon Teams prepares

    Not every high school student gets an all-expense paid trip to Hawaii. But that’s exactly what’s happening with the 10 team members of the Duncan High School Decathlon Team.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Baseball tourney to be held in Wiles' memory

    The Duncan Middle School baseball team will hold a tournament in memory of the late Alyssa Wiles.

    April 17, 2014

  • Corporon memorial planned for Friday in Marlow

    A candlelight vigil for Dr. William Corporon and his grandson Reat Underwood will be held at Marlow High School at 8 p.m. Friday.

    April 17, 2014

  • Gay recuses himself from Morales trial

    Associate District Judge Dennis Gay on Wednesday disqualified himself from the trial of Dr. Oscar Morales Jr.

    April 17, 2014

  • Psychologists disagree on Bench’s mental competency

    Two psychologists on Tuesday offered differing opinions  about the mental competency of Miles Sterling Bench to stand trial for first-degree murder in the 2012 death of Braylee Henry.
    Bench, dressed in a dark blue suit, sat through a second day of court proceedings that will determine if the case against him goes to trial. The state is seeking the death penalty.

    April 16, 2014