WINFIELD, W.Va. -- Members of the Putnam County Board of Education approved a $112.5 million budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year on Monday night.The budget is about $2 million more than last year, according to treasurer Chris Campbell, and puts an emphasis on technology.Earlier this year, board members hired Datacom Specialists, an Ohio company, to monitor technology throughout the county.During the company's first year working with Putnam they'll be paid $440,000. However, Hatfield said expenditures have been rearranged so that only about half of that money is a new expense.Also, about $305,000 was added to the budget to replace student computers.Cindy Daniel, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, said county school officials are working on a plan to update technology throughout the county.Superintendent Chuck Hatfield noted other technology expenses, like every student getting a computer at Buffalo High School and the implementation of the "Leader in Me" program at county elementary schools.The "Leader in Me" program is based on Stephen Covey's bestselling book, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People."School officials are working to implement the "Leader in Me" program in all of the county's 14 elementary schools. Last fall, Connor Street, George Washington, Poca, Confidence and Rock Branch elementary schools implemented the program. By 2016, Hatfield said all elementary schools would teach it.
"We want to be on the cutting edge and lead the way in all areas," Hatfield said.Other increases include money for professional development and building construction and maintenance, according to Hatfield.Also at the meeting, board members approved a bid for $182,194 from Tri-State Roofing to replace a section of roof on a wing at the Putnam County Technical Center.Hatfield said that project would complete roofing repairs at the school.Reach Kate White at firstname.lastname@example.org