Decatur County School Board passes preliminary 2017 budget

Published 7:12 pm Friday, April 22, 2016

The Decatur County Board of Education passed a preliminary budget at its regularly scheduled meeting Thursday night in a 5-1 vote. Keith Lyle was the lone dissenting vote.

“I am not specifically opposed to the budget,” Lyle said. “However, I am opposed to making a multimillion dollar decision with only a few minutes to review the information and deliberate on the course of action. I would have preferred that the information concerning the budget that was distributed during the meeting be included in the information packet we receive several days prior to the meeting. This would have allowed more time to review and ask questions.”

Chief Financial Officer Tim Mathews and Superintendent Dr. Fred Rayfield presented the board with the proposed budget during the work session. The board had not previously been given the chance to review the details of the $40, 482, 098 budget.

The total expenditures for fiscal year 2017 are a nearly $1.2 million increase over the budget for fiscal year 2016, because the board approved a 2-percent raise for all school board employees in 2017 in addition to increased costs for the inmate detail contract, a new radio system and the purchase of a new bus.

The school board will receive an additional $900,000 from the state of Georgia in 2017, which was earmarked by the legislator for pay raises. Decatur County will receive $400,000 less in equalization funds from the state though.

In revenue the school board will see a projected $871, 209 in additional funds in large part because of the two new solar farms that went into operation earlier this year.

With the two-percent raise for employees the Decatur County School system is projecting a budget shortfall of $235,227 which will be covered by the reserve fund of just over $5 million.

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