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Gainesville school board approves 2016 budget
Total spending plan is $80.5 million
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After a few budget amendments, the Gainesville City Board of Education approved the fiscal year 2016 budget at its regular meeting Monday.

The final budget includes $76.1 million in revenues and expenditures and approximately $4.4 million in debt service costs, for a total budget of $80.5 million.

Three amendments were made to the 2015 budget to recognize about $667,383 in changes due to the school system’s Rising Pre-K Summer Program and its ROTC Program. A fourth amendment moved $500,000 from the general fund to the capital projects fund.

School board member Sammy Smith expressed concerns that the school system would have some pre-SPLOST capital projects needs, and asked if $500,000 would be enough to cover those potential needs. Chief Financial Officer Janet Allison said between the leftover SPLOST IV funds and these additional funds, the system should be covered in capital projects.

Smith also commended Allison and her staff for their focus on education, as nearly two-thirds of the budget is designated for instruction.

The State Department of Education requires local education boards adopt a final, though still flexible, budget by Tuesday. Allison said the school board will not consider changes to the millage rate until mid- to late August, after conferring with the city.

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