Fayette BoE to consider biggest ever school budget


Proposed $211.5 million budget is about 4% increase over this year, will add more than 30 teaching slots

It is the time of the year when school has ended, and the annual school system budget adoption is around the corner. For the Fayette County Board of Education, members will soon consider a $211.5 million budget, half of which comes from local funds. The proposed budget represents a $7.8 million increase over the current year.

Board members on June 25 will adopt the 2018-2019 budget, which is currently proposed at $211.469 million. The current budget, which expires on June 30, totals $203.67 million, representing an increase of $7.798 million.

Assistant Superintendent for Finance Tom Gray said the $211.5 million in revenue includes a projected net increase of 4.9 percent in the tax digest. Property ad valorem taxes are expected to generate $95 million, said Gray, adding that combined automotive taxes are expected to generate $8.33 million.

The budget also maintains a reserve amount totaling 10 percent of revenues, or $22,841,858.

The budget proposal includes $212.4 million in expenditures, with direct instruction accounting for 67.2 percent of total expenditures.

The proposed $8.7 million increase in expenditures includes items such as 30 full-time equivalent school-level positions and a teacher retirement system employer rate increase of $5.4 million.

Fayette employs 220.67 school-based full-time equivalent employees beyond what state dollars help fund. Those salaries total $13.917 million and includes 112.33 teachers, 13.52 counselors, 12 assistant principals and 82.82 parapros.

The school board is expected to adopt the budget on June 25. Public hearings on the budget will be held at the May 29 regular meeting, when a tentative adoption will occur, and at the June 11 work session. All meetings will be held at the school system central office on Stonewall Avenue in Fayetteville.

Whether at budget adoption time or during any portion of the year, meetings of the school board once children receiving recognitions leave with their parents before business begins, are the most sparsely-attended of all meetings for entities that levy taxes on property owners.