decisions will be made by Whatley, Carpenter, Dr. Linda Hayden, associate superintendent for curriculum and instruction, and the human resources director.
The county’s property tax digest has not been finalized, but based on preliminary numbers Whatley said ad valorem tax revenue would drop more than $6 million to $43 million. In addition, revenue from the state, Quality Basic Education funding, was expected to drop by $7.74 million to $85.3 million.
Finally, the school system is expecting its fund balance to decrease to $5.5 million by the end of the fiscal year June 30. The fund balance is the money carried over from year to year that helps cover operating expenses until the tax revenue be- gins coming in. The fund balance was $11.1 million at the beginning of this fiscal year.
The $9.7 million deficit would exist if the county keeps its current level of expenditures, about $144 million, and would leave a fund balance of zero, meaning the school might have to borrow money to cover expenses.
Overall, the schools system would receive $17 million less in revenue this year than it budgeted for this past fiscal year, giving it a new total budget of $134.5 million.
“Cuts will be made in system level and school level positions, both certified and classified, and some work days will be reduced,” said Whatley in a memo to the BOE. In his recommendation he asked for and received authority to “make related personnel cuts in the teaching, classified, support and administrative staff as well as to the benefits program.”
• According to
the memo, school system officials have already developed a method for determining which staff members will be cut, though details will not be released until after cuts are made.
• In addition, the date to notify teachers about whether they will have a job next year has been extended from April 15 to May 15. The change made possible through House Bill 906, in order to give school systems more time to make budget decisions. The BOE voted unanimously to approve this change.
• In related news, six more staff members will be retiring, one in April, one in August and four at the end of this school year. Three employees resigned, two more will resign over the next couple of months and one employee was terminated in April.
• Finally, the BOE voted unanimously to withdraw an annual application to the state for money to renovate Newton High School. Carpenter said the school system will still receive the money; however, it will instead be used to build a new Newton High School, which will take place sometime within the next five years.