School system in solid financial shape

Published 2:39 pm Friday, April 19, 2013

For the first time in several years, the Decatur County Board of Education is not facing negative budgetary issues or concerns.

At Thursday night’s board meeting, Tim Matthews, the school system’s chief financial officer, offered the board a preview of the 2013-2014 budget, which must be approved by July 1.

The system will end the current fiscal year with a $3.6 million fund balance, an amount that will carry over into the 2014 fiscal year. With estimated revenues of $37.12 million and estimated expenses of $38.2 million, the system will end the 2014 fiscal year with a fund balance of $2.7 million.

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The previewed budget still includes the six furlough days for all system employees and a $749,900 increase in the employer health insurance costs.

Superintendent Fred Rayfield informed the board that a special called budget workshop would be held in the near future to discuss the new budget in more detail.

In other actions, the board approved, by a 5-1 vote, the slate of school administrators returning for the next school year. Board member Winston Rollins casted the lone “no” vote.

The central office staff will remain unchanged. The position of elementary curriculum director, open due to the mid-year retirement of Susan Johnson, remains vacant.

Jennifer Wilkinson was moved from interim principal to permanent principal at Elcan-King Elementary School and the principal position at Bainbridge Middle School is currently vacant for the next school year.

Current BMS Principal Dr. Marvin Thomas will not return, as his contract was not renewed.

Thomas is the subject of a current ethics violation investigation by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. The resolution of that investigation is still pending.

All other school administrators will remain the same in the 2013-14 school year.