Local News

Halifax Co. Schools Face $635K Budget Deficit

Posted September 20, 2007

— A declining student population and a steady number of staff members have created a $635,000 projected deficit – nearly a fifth of the total budget – for the Halifax County school system.

School Superintendent Geraldine Middleton recently asked the Halifax County Board of Commissioners for more than a $500,000 fund advance .

The commissioners gave about $280,000 that will come from the general taxpayer fund. They are also requesting the state audit the school system.

"The county commissioners were caught blind. We did not have any idea. We did not know," said county Commissioner J. Rives Manning Jr.

School administrators said they were also shocked.

"It's a very disappointing situation that we find ourselves in," school spokesman Keith Hoggard said.

To balance the budget by the end of the year, school officials are starting to cut community bus programs and will lay off 15 employees by the end of October.

Some say the previous administration headed for more than a decade by Dr. Willie Gilchrist, should have known this day would come. Middleton has been superintendent for a few months.

"They had to be aware that we were going to run into some budgetary problems," Hoggard said.

In a statement to WRAL, Gilchrist, now chancellor at Elizabeth State University, said "personnel costs are a huge percentage of most budgets. Those costs can be affected by various changes."


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  • richard2 Sep 21, 2007

    This system needs an audit bad!

  • pirates86 Sep 21, 2007

    Personally I grew up in Halifax County, and my brother and I were fortunate enough for our parents to send us to a private academy. The Halifax County school systems are, to say the least, horrible. It was to come, it's not a Republican or Democrat issue, it is the lack of management. It has nothing to do with the city schools either. Come visit Halifax County, take a ride through Weldon, or, Enfield. You can see the monstrosity of an elementary school they are building in Enfield, and better "looking" schools with a picture perfect appearance on the outside, will NOT make a child learn, or want to learn. They are needing money...GOOD! Maybe now the system will get the attention in needs and now people will try to fix this problem. Get people in there to run the school systems correctly.

  • ranquick Sep 21, 2007

    This is a mis management of money. The Lottery was suppose to help our school systems, but what most do not know, when the lottery started paying out to the school system the money normally slated to the school from taxes was use elsewhere and it was not the state road system either. SO where it that money now? I saw this on a report the other night that many states with a State Education Lottery let the lottery pay for the school systems and dirverted tax money somewhere else. The Officials should be made to pay the shortage from the normal buget with raising Taxes, especially after helping build the Randy Land there!

  • nolyinghere Sep 21, 2007

    Wow, Halifax county has a $635,000 deficit. That is the total value of Halifax county.

  • whatelseisnew Sep 21, 2007

    Seems to me that chancellor pay that clown is getting would help a lot. Hey county garnish the mans wages. He obviously did not earn his keep while pretending to be your superintendent. Of course all the counties could wise up and demand the system eliminate these positions.

  • AM is Back to Being Immaculate Sep 21, 2007

    Ugh blah, blah, blah Why do school systems always need money? If they were a business they would be bankrupt!

  • FastPitch Mama Sep 21, 2007

    Too bad the commissioner's didn't use the tax payers money for the school system instead of the Randy Parton Theater and all that goes with it. Oh, that's right, the commissioner's as usual don't care what happens to the county schools as long as they have the Roanoke Rapids City Schools to entice outsiders to move into the area.

  • OLD PIRATE Sep 21, 2007

    Too many PHD's and not enough indians. Dr. G. will be in trouble at ECS before its over!

  • TheAdmiral Sep 21, 2007

    Hey Blackdog -

    "...that's not a deficit...it's a republican budget..."

    can also be said as:

    "...that's not a deficit...it's an opportunity for a democrats tax hike..."

  • TheAdmiral Sep 21, 2007

    What a heck of an opportunity to adjust the budget bu $635K.

    After all, maybe those after school programs for the latch key kids might not be needed after all.