Thomasville Times Enterprise

Local News

May 23, 2014

County schools chief predicts no tax increase

THOMASVILLE — The Thomas County Board of Education gave tentative approval to a fiscal 2015 budget that will fund school district operations for the 2014-2015 school year and most likely not result in a property tax increase.

The budget restores two furlough days, reducing from five to three the number of furlough days teachers will be required to take during the upcoming school year. Restoration of the two days will allow the system to return to the traditional 180-day school year for students.

Said Joey Holland, assistant superintendent for finance and system chief financial officer, “I am grateful that the Georgia General Assembly and the governor restored 30 percent of the annual reduction to our state funding. This additional funding, along with our enrollment growth, will allow us to restore some of our furlough days and reduce class sizes. My hope is that the state revenue picture continues to improve, and all of our annual $2.6 million reduction will be returned to us and allow us to eliminate all furlough days and to grant cost-of-living raises.”

The new budget includes a $2.5 million expenditure increase in the general fund. Virtually all of the increase will be accomplished with the increase in state funding.

“We don’t anticipate a major change in our local tax revenue for 2014,” Holland added. “Over the last few years, we have strived to build our fund balance up to a safe operating level of at least 10 percent of the annual budget. We have accomplished this goal with our FY 2015 budget.”

Highlights of FY 2015 budget that begins July 1, 2014 include:

• General fund revenue of $40.4 million, an increase of $1.4 million over FY 2014. The majority of this increase ($1.1 million) is from state revenue.

• Expenditures for FY 2015 budgeted at $40.7 million, a $2.5 million increase from FY 2014. The increase consists of furlough days added back to the calendar, additional staff to reduce class sizes, increases in benefit costs and increases in operational costs.

• The general fund balance at the end of FY 2015 is projected to be $4.2 million, or 10.3 percent of the system’s annual expenditures.

“For the last several years, budget cuts have required us to increase class sizes and reduce our teaching staff. For the first time in several years, we are adding back a few teaching positions due to enrollment growth and in order to reduce class sizes,” Superintendent Dr. Dusty Kornegay said.

“Much has been discussed in the state media about teachers receiving raises this year,” Kornegay added. “This is largely misleading as the state salary schedule that has been in place since 2008 is not changing. Since we are reducing the number of furlough days, teachers will see smaller reductions in their salaries as they will be taking fewer furlough days, but we are yet to see a real across-the-board increase in the state salary schedule. Many teachers are still bringing home less pay than they did in 2008 when the furlough days started.”

The budget plan approved by the board will add back two furlough days, restore about 12 teaching positions and provide a small salary increase for bus drivers.

“We anticipate being able to fund the FY 2015 budget without an increase in county school taxes,” Kornegay said. “We certainly built the budget with that intent. I will say, however, that the official tax digest has not yet been prepared, so I can never be 100 percent certain about the tax rate until the tax digest information is available. I will say that unless there is an unanticipated decrease in the tax digest, we should be able to fund the budget without an increase in the school tax millage rate.”

 

1
Text Only
Local News
Business Marquee
House Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

Does it bother you that the Thomasville-Thomas County Central football game won't be played for at least the next two years?

Yes
No
     View Results
Video
Sports Pulse
Must Read
Must Read