School money: Fayette Board of Education votes 5-0 to boost budget to record $203.7 million

School money: Fayette Board of Education votes 5-0 to boost budget to record $203.7 million

The Fayette County Board of Education on June 19 adopted the 2017-2018 budget totaling $203.7 million.

The vote to adopt the budget was unanimous, though Chairman Barry Marchman prior to the vote suggested that the board next year discuss the potential for having larger schools and class sizes as a way to reduce expenditures. Marchman noted that Forsyth County, arguably the top school system in Georgia, operates in that way.

Assistant Superintendent Tom Gray responded, saying making such an adjustment would come with significant expense.

The budget as adopted came with revenues of approximately $203.7 million and with identical expenditures.

Pertaining to the revenue side of the budget, $94.1 million comes from local property taxes, $9.5 million comes from other local taxes, $98.7 million from state QBE (quality basic eduction) funds and $400,000 from other state funds.

The current budget stands at $193 million.

Expenditures for the budget include $9.7 million in additional expenses over the current year. Those include $3.1 million for cost of living increases, $3.2 million for step increases, $3.1 million for the teacher retirement system and $300,000 for increased health insurance costs for classified employees.

Debt service in the proposed budget, coming almost exclusively from ad valorem taxes, totals $6.4 million.

The budget continues the 10 percent reserve at $20.4 million and carries a year-end fund balance of $3.18 million.