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Hall County Schools amends budget to account for higher enrollment
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Hall County Schools’ fiscal year 2013 ending balance may be a little better than initially anticipated.

During Monday night’s board of education meeting, the board approved a budget amendment to account for the enrollment growth of nearly 500 students in the system.

That projection should give the system about $2.2 million more in state funding than it initially projected.

“In the big scheme of things, no real surprises, but we’re just trying to be proactive and put these numbers in front of (the board) now,” said Will Schofield, superintendent.

The numbers, he said, won’t become official until the spring, but the money is a projected midterm adjustment.

“We did a budget amendment to include in the budget a projected midterm adjustment for the increased number of students that we had,” said Lee Lovett, deputy superintendent.

The school system’s enrollment now tops 27,300 and the system projects the state funding to increase $1.7 million directly because of that.

About $500,000 of total money comes from an adjustment in salary accrual from the state department. Lovett said the way the county and the state calculate that projection — to cover summer school salaries — differed.

The board has also approved the replacement of one teacher work day next semester, which is slated to cost the system nearly a quarter of a million dollars.

That cost, however, will be more than covered by an adjustment of the actual salaries versus the projected salaries for teachers.

The system overshot its estimate on how much it would pay its teachers, including benefits, by $940,000, which will cover the additional instructional day.

“Obviously, we’re not getting any more money — this is just budget,” said Lovett. “We’re increasing our budget so when we finish the year, we’ll be a little bit closer to our projections. In these times, we need to try and do a better job of that.”

With the budget amendment, the system projects its ending balance to be nearly $11 million — up from $8.4 million.

It ended the last fiscal year with almost $18 million in the bank.

“(A greater ending balance is) what we’re hoping for,” said Lovett. “Last year we ran about 4 or 5 million higher than we said we would and we’re trying to keep from doing that this year.”

The system’s overall budget is about $195 million.

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