The Chattooga County School System held a Budget Committee Meeting on Thursday, June 13th at 10:00 a.m.

The meeting was held in the Board Room at the Chattooga County Education Center located at 206 Penn Street in Summerville. Interim Superintendent Jared Hosmer lead the meeting.

In attendance at the meeting were directors of various departments within the school district along with principals of the schools, Tax Commissioner Joy Hampton, BOE Chairman John Agnew, and board member Julia Houston and a few concerned citizens. Each attendee was given a a copy of the working budget.

Interim Superintendent Hosmer, explained the working budget, is still a working budget as  the system, after nine years adjusts to back to a five day calendar. The Board of Education voted to change the school system back to a five day/180 day calendar on January 17, 2019.

“Our revenue sources are pretty much set,” Hosmer said. The estimated revenue total is $27,644,917.00. The estimated expenses are $28,743,669.36.

“We have a fund balance of $3.6 million that includes a fund balance set aside by the previous board for projects to be completed,” Hosmer said. “These projects include paving, tennis courts, lights and poles, HVAC repairs, school radios and school cameras,”  Hosmer explained.

“We can’t balance our budget with fund equity with our savings, we are either going to cut expenses, raise revenue or both. The fund balance only covers the deficit… it can’t balance the deficit,” Hosmer said.

The working budget for FY20 is $1,098,752.36 short after $467,000 in cuts to the operating budget. The current millage rate is 12.683, with current collections the system would need an estimated 2.63 increase to cover deficit. “The budget is divided into to overall categories, Salary/Benefits and Operating. The operating side of the budget, which consist of about 18% of the total budget, has already been reduced as much as possible. Therefore, any further cuts would have to come from the 82% of the budget, which is the Salary/Benefit section of the budget,” Hosmer said.

“I will be asking the Board for input on how they would like to balance the budget considering all the information that they have been given. If we intend to zero balance, we must increase revenue or cut further expenses,” Hosmer said.

Chattooga County Board of Education Chairman John Agnew told AllOnGeorgia the board would be looking into “personnel issues” as a way to help with the deficit.

Hosmer explained the fund equity account by saying, “the fund equity is the School System’s savings account. Money is accrued into that account by collecting more in revenue than is expended each year. In a perfect scenario, with a balanced budget, we would neither add to nor spend from the fund equity. In a deficient budget, you are going to spend more than is collected in revenue. Therefore, you must cover the deficient in your budget with your fund equity  (savings account). At the end of each fiscal year, the revenue and expense categories are closed out and any excess funds are added to the fund equity. At the same time, if there are overage expenses for the year, the difference is deducted from the fund equity. That being said, fund equity can not be used in the next years budget as revenue. Revenue is only current year activity. We cannot balance the system budget with fund equity, because we would only be able to balance as long as there was money in the  fund equity. Once the fund equity was depleted the budget would be right back in a deficit. This is why we must cut expenses or raise the revenue.”

Below is a look at the increases: (turn phone sideways to view chart)

1000Sick Leave for Teachers90,000.00
2213Professional Development for Teachers30,000.00
2220Media – Sick Leave1,000.00
2700Bus Driver Sick Leave/or Training25,000.00
Subs Total:146,000.00
Increases in budgeted amounts
School Nurses
Operating Budget = Same as Prior Year
Salaries/Benefits increased17,360.00
Estimated Salary/Benefit Increase88,850.00
Estimated Operating Increase for Ashton Contract157,890.00
Water/Sewer/Trash was estimated on a % increase:
Leroy Massey9,758.35
Chattooga High14,247.57
Summerville Middle1,935.15
Chattooga County Education Center2,287.78
Board of Education Office175.07
Bus Barn401.53
Total Estimate Increase on Water/Sewer/Trash:31,413.47
Power/Gas estimated on a % increase:
Leroy Massey17,272.34
Chattooga High25,510.17
Summerville Middle9,577.74
Chattooga County Education Center7,758.30
Board of Education Office1,689.73
Bus Barn960.90
Total Estimate Increase on Power/Gas:81,732.48
ESTIMATED Utilities Increase:113,145.95
Estimated cost in all areas due to 5th Day:
Subs – Sick Leave25,000.00
Subs – Professional Development14,000.00
Bus Drivers88,850.00
Subs – Bus Drivers5,000.00
Bus – Maintenance/Repairs10,000.00
Bus – Supplies43,000.00
Budget Cuts with each Function:
FunctionDescriptionAmount Cut
1000“As Needed” amount for any emergency(50,000.00)
Computer Rotation(25,000.00)
2210Off Contract Days – If needed AC to work in Summer(6,000.00)
AC Coach Travel – will be school based(2,000.00)
2213Non Scheduled work days – Possible PD on Mondays(150,000.00)
RESA – Principal Center(20,000.00)
Professional Development – Travel/Dues/Supplies(12,000.00)
2300Verizon – Cell phones for County(4,000.00)
2500Financial Software upgrade –(78,000.00)
2700Equipment – for Transportation(85,000.00)
2800Technology Advances – As Needed(35,000.00)
$467,000 in cuts

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