EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – With the school year ended and the Board of Education (BOE) looking to begin the new one, a special called meeting saw the board approve advertisement for the 2022-2023 Fiscal Year Tentative Budget.
A $45,012,326 general fund budget, the BOE will advertise the budget before implementation on July 1, 2022. Adding together all four funds of the Board of Education including the General Fun, Special Revenues, Capital Projects, and Debt Service, the county’s education system is estimating to spend over $100 million, sourced through several places from grants, ESPLOST, taxpayers, state funding, and even smaller revenue sources such as school lunches which are scheduled to be returning to normal operations next year and leaving behind the free lunches for all program.
The estimated total revenue in the general fund budget is $42,224,108 and totals $2,788,218 of expenditures over revenues.
Taking stock of changes like the governor’s $2,000 increase in teacher’s salaries, cost of living increases, and QBE Allotment changes, the tentative budget is adjusted according to the best estimates and information that the state is sending our county in addition to local changes like local taxes, including property and TAVT, and local increases in scheduling and pay, including an increase to all classified salary schedules to a minimum starting hourly pay of $12 and an eight hour workday for those classified staff.
Finance Director Trina Penland noted that the increase to a full eight hour workday will allow school administrators to have some extra help on specific needs depending on the school and the day.
The budget also includes increases to select Academic, Activity, and Athletic supplements and an increase in elementary school teachers to handle larger classroom sizes. Gilmer Schools have provided a full breakdown of the presentation on their website.
The revenue estimation is based on receiving the same amount of money through local tax revenue, this means it operates under the assumption of continuing adoption of the Rollback Millage Rate designed to have a government entity bring in the same amount of money despite an increasing in residents, growth, or other factors.
The budget will be back before the board during the June 20, 2022, Work Session and the June 23, 2022, Regular Meeting and will be the last time citizens can sign up to speak about the budget before approval.