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Hall Schools to delay budget to adjust for expected state cuts

The Hall County School District will not approve a budget at the end of June as originally planned. 

During a Monday evening meeting, the school board approved a spending resolution that will push the school district’s budgeting decisions back to July 27. 

The decision comes in response to guidance from state legislation advising all state-funded agencies to expect a 14% decrease in funding. The cutback would account for a loss of around $22 million in school funds, according to Hall County superintendent Will Schofield. 

“We have such spotty information in terms of what state revenues are going to look like,” Schofield said. “We believe that the legal arm that is available to us, which is to pass a spending resolution, a continuation of the FY20 budget if you will, for an additional month while we get more information when the legislature gets back in session, when they start getting more estimates from OPB, is the wise thing to do.”

OPB is the Office of Planning and Budget.

The Gainesville City School System made a similar decision last Monday.

Schofield said the school district will look into a number of options to save money in accordance with expected cutbacks, adding that while there is not currently a hiring freeze on the school district “if there’s any chance we can get through a school year next year without adding positions, we certainly are not adding those positions.”

“We’re going to have to sharpen our pencil in every area we possibly can to make it through this drought we’re going to go through for the next year or two, three years,” Schofield said.