The Hamilton County Department of Education is the largest employer in the county. With roughly $351 million in annual expenditures, the system is comparable to many mid-size corporations.
The district's budget falls into five main categories:
1) General Purpose Budget - FY 2011 $311,777,651 (funded through the following means):
- State Funds: $126,051,421 (40.4%)
- Local Property Taxes: $124,550,952 (39.95%)
- Sales Taxes: $53,862,211 (17.3%)
- Other: $6,228,823 (2%) - includes licenses, permits, charges for contract services and other sources
These dollars pay for most general operation expenses including salaries, benefits, supplies, maintenance, utilities and contracts.
2) Federal Programs - FY 2011: $39,438,516
These are funds from the Department of Education and must be spent on specific items. Most federal funds come for Title I schools, which is based on students who qualify for free/reduced lunch based on their parent's income levels. Federal Programs can fund professional development, salaries and benefits and equipment.
3) Child Nutrition - FY 2011: $18,108,933
These are funds generated and spent by the cafeterias in the schools. School Nutrition is an enterprise fund spending only
4) Self Funded - FY 2011: $2,582,941
These are grants, either local or state, that fund special programs. Funds from local foundations such at the Benwood Foundation fall into the self-funded category.
5) Capital Maintenance - $4,000,000
Tthis is an annual appropriation by the County Commission to fund large maintenance and renovation projects including painting, ceilings, roofing, HVAC systems etc.