Gainesville will spend more money on its school faculty and staff in a $72 million operating budget approved June 18.
Included in the budget, which takes effect July 1, is $385,000 for salary increases, $100,000 to implement a minority recruitment plan for up to 10 future employees and $50,000 for pay incentives to attract more bus drivers.
The Gainesville City Schools Board of Education voted to keep the property tax rate at its current 6.85 mills, but this still amounts to a tax increase.
Gainesville school budget
What: City school system’s fiscal year 2019 budget
Use of reserve fund: $166,581Tax rate: 6.85 mills
Under state law, unless the board accounts for increased revenue from property tax reassessments by rolling back the tax rate to 6.598 mills, it is instead considered an increase.
School taxes in the city are assessed at 100 percent of a property’s value.
Other spending in the budget includes $700,000 to add positions to Work-Based Learning programs; positions to support nurse caseloads at Gainesville middle and high schools; new special education professionals; and six new positions at Gainesville Middle, which is anticipating between 125 and 150 new students next year.
Also, $300,000 would be spent to replace three school buses.
A major new expense next year is a 4 percent increase, amounting to $1.7 million, the school system has to pay into the teacher retirement system.
Officials will use about $167,000 in reserves to balance the budget.
The system receives $49 million from the state, including $2 million in increased funding that will help offset new costs.