Enid Public Schools is projected to receive $6.6 million more in federal COVID-19 pandemic relief, to be expended over two years, Superintendent Darrell Floyd said Monday.

EPS CFO Sam Robinson told district Board of Education members the federal stimulus package Congress approved last month would pay for one-time expenses such as face masks or cleaning supplies, rather than longer-term costs like adding personnel or pay raises.

Though he said the district has no idea how the federal government will allow spending to occur, Robinson said EPS ideally would spend the funding in halves each year, which could then grow the district’s projected about $11 million fund balance by $770,000.

During his monthly update asking for mid-year board approval of EPS’ yearly budget, Robinson said the state allocated the district $1.4 million less than given at the initial mid-term allocation.

This has resulted in an overall $2.5 million reduction from last year’s allocation, he said.

The district’s projected fiscal year revenue came to about $77.2 million, with the possible stimulus coming, though this has not yet been received. Expenditures are expected at around $66.2 million, Robinson said.

Floyd said districtwide enrollment, which affects state mid-year allocations, is slightly up from December.

COVID-19 also has affected the state Board of Education’s decision to suspend district report cards for the current school year, though Floyd said diagnostic assessments still will take place to target weakness areas in Oklahoma public school districts.

Meanwhile, board members approved paying a quarter million dollars to replace the video board at David Allen Memorial Ballpark.

EPS would front-load this payment of $254,524 to local company Kline Signs for the purchase, demo and installation of the new board. The district expects $100,000 in reimbursement from the ballpark, Robinson said.

Robinson said Enid City Manager Jerald Glbert also was looking at partially funding the project in another reimbursement, either in discretionary funding or, if any higher than a certain amount, through city commission approval. Robinson said he didn’t know how much funding this would be.

Gilbert could not be reached for comment Monday night.

Robinson said this repair is in line with the district’s contracted commitment with the ballpark to maintain the facility in exchange for stadium priority and concessions sales, which go to the district’s activity fund balance. EPS and the city of Enid both have insurance on the facility, he said.

The ballpark also has lights that need replacing, Robinson said.

“If Enid Public Schools would’ve bought a baseball field … we would still be on the hook for a lot of those things,” he said.

In other sports-related news, the rescheduled grand opening ceremony for Enid High School’s new gym and performing arts center is now set for Jan. 19 during the boys and girls varsity basketball games.

Attendance will be limited to no more than 30% capacity in the gym, which along with the PAC were the largest facilities included in the $92 million bond issue voters approved in 2016. Both sites opened in February 2019.

Board members also approved requesting Oklahoma’s state auditor and inspector perform a special audit of 10-year allocations between 2004 and 2014, in order to determine how much from an 11% cap should have been allocated to EPS on commercial personal and agricultural personal property valuations.

The district is currently in litigation with the state Board of Education and Department of Education over distribution of state aid to public schools including EPS. Under Oklahoma state statute, the state is not authorized to recoup overpayments from recalculations until an audit confirms the recalculations.

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Ewald is copy editor and city/education reporter for the Enid News & Eagle.

Have a question about this story? Do you see something we missed? Send an email to aewald@enidnews.com.

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