Floyd County Schools held their first of two public hearings of the Fiscal Year 2020 budget Thursday evening at their central office on Riverside Drive.
The second and final hearing will take place next Thursday at 8 a.m. at the same location. After the second hearing the board will take a vote to accept the budget as tentative with a final vote taking place at the next board meeting.
“We’re passionate about getting a balanced budget,” Superintendent Jeff Wilson said. “We feel really good about this budget and hope the community will, too.”
The proposed budget is $121.9 million which increased $5.7 million from last year. This number is reached by combining the school system’s beginning balance — $19.2 million — with its revenues and equals the system’s ending balance — $18.3 million — plus expenses.
The system is receiving an estimated $66 million from the state for its 9,324 students, Chief Financial Officer Greg Studdard said. These numbers come from the quality basic education earnings sheet, which is what the state of Georgia uses to determine how much funds systems receive.
Funds received from the state make up 65% of the revenues the system receives for its general fund, Studdard said. Revenues from local taxes make up 32% and the remaining 3% are other local sources. The total revenues from these three sources is projected to be $102.7 million, which will be an increase of around $2 million from FY ’19.
The system had around $5.3 million in increased expenses in the FY ’20 budget, Studdard said. However, due to the system cutting $4.5 million in various areas, the school system was able to trim this back to around to just over $800,000 in increased expenses. For example, the closing of McHenry Primary saved the system $635,000 and the decision not to replace leaving or retiring personnel saved an additional $1.4 million.
The biggest expense for the system will be raises for certified and classified personnel, which comes in around $3 million. Certified personnel will be getting the $3,000 raises from the state, Studdard said, but with declining enrollment the system lost about a million in funding and will be receiving $1.4 million for the raises.
The $3 million includes raises for both classified personnel — whose raises were never apart of the $3,000 raise from the state — but will be getting 2% from the system. The total estimated expenses for the school system in the FY ’20 budget is $103.5 million.
Wilson said based on the QBE worksheet it was apparent the system was going to be over budget due to a decline in students, and the board took what he thinks are reasonable steps to counteract that loss.
Board Chair Tony Daniel, Co-chair Jay Shell and member Chip Hood were the only three board members at the hearing Thursday evening. The board approved some personnel changes which included the hiring of an assistant principal and a counselor at Pepperell High School, as well as several other teaching positions.