Hall County Board of Education members gave tentative approval to the 2015 budget, slightly more than what was previously discussed.
Rather than the originally proposed $219.4 million general fund budget, approval was given for $222.4 million. Some of the additional funds come from an increase to the beginning balance, from $16 million to $17.5 million.
“It’s an update of the revenue figures,” Superintendent Will Schofield said. “That has to do with the fact that, again, our expenditures are showing somewhere in the neighborhood of a 2 percent under for this current year, so we changed that beginning balance.”
The increased revenue also reflects a budgeted $500,000 midyear adjustment, and $1 million from the title ad valorem tax.
“So that was $3 million in additional revenue that you see projected for next year in terms of this budget,” Schofield said.
Expenditure increases were mostly attributed to employee raises. A request for additional compensation was made by board members at the May 12 work session.
No furlough days are scheduled for next school year, so employees will see fuller paychecks. Additional compensation funds have been allocated in the following areas:
- $1.9 million for teachers and paraprofessionals;
- $280,000 for classified personnel;
- $115,000 for school-level administration;
- $35,000 for upper-level administration.
It’s a total of $2.3 million in raises.
“I think that’s what you asked us to do,” Schofield said to the board members. “We’ve put the money back in where we could.”
There’s also room in the budget for 20 new teaching positions next school year, equaling $1.65 million.
The budget is still based on an 18.9 millage rate, down 0.35 from the current rate of 19.25. One mill is equal to $1 for each $1,000 in property value, which is assessed at 40 percent.
A gap remains between expected revenues and expenditures, with $204.9 million in revenues, besides the starting balance, and $209.55 million in expenses.
The total budget, including all federal and program funding, comes to $297.1 million.
Board members unanimously approved the tentative budget at Monday’s meeting. Public hearings are scheduled for 5 p.m. June 9, and 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. June 23. All hearings will be held at the system’s central office, at 711 Green St., Gainesville.
The vote for final budget and millage rate approval is scheduled for June 23, following the third public hearing.