BOE budget is revealed
Elbert County’s school board held the first of three hearings Monday on the board’s budget proposal of approximately $30.5 million for the school year 2019-2020.
The school system will add just over $1.66 million more to its budget as compared to last year’s budget of $28.8 million, according to Elbert County School Chief Financial Officer Keith Martin.
The increase can be made without adding any additional millage for Elbert County taxpayers, said Martin.
The BOE will also have a hearing on May 20 in the board’s regular session and a hearing at a June 10 work session before adopting the budget on June 17.
School Superintendent Chuck Bell said the board is required to adopt the budget prior to June 30, which is the last day of the fiscal year 2018-2019 budget.
The school board will receive an estimated $20,694,000 from the state’s Quality Basic Education (QBE) funding for the upcoming school year, which is substantially more than funding for the previous dozen or so years.
Between the 2002-2003 fiscal year and 2017-2018 fiscal year, the state cut more than $22 million from QBE funding for Elbert County schools.
With the increased funding from the state, the school board will:
• Give raises to certified teaching staff totaling $910,428.
• Give “step increases” for certified staff totaling $307,087.
• Give a two percent raise to non-certified staff at the schools totaling $60,497.
• Invest in new positions in the school system totaling $221,599.
• Invest in bus monitors that will cost $59,000.
• Increase the instructional technology supply/purchase service budget by $30,000.
• Increase the furniture replacement budget by $40,000.
Martin also told the school board Monday that the system’s enrollment has stayed fairly steady since the 2015-2016 fiscal budget – between 3,000 and 3,100 students from the Paul J. Blackwell Learning Center and Elbert County Comprehensive High School.
The state determines funding levels based on enrollment in each school system.
In 1995 the Elbert County school system enrollment totaled almost 3,900 students.