Republican Sole Commissioner, Jason Winters, cited many reasons that Chattooga County was so dependent upon property taxes at the recent tax increase meetings. One of those reasons Winters gave was the amount of money the County “gives” the school system in the form of allotment from Local Sales Taxes. Out of the three cents from every dollar of sales tax dedicated to the County, two cents goes to the school board while the county receives one. This, according to Winters, is different from every neighboring county in our region where the school boards only receive a penny sales tax while those counties garner the other two.
Superintendent of Schools, Jimmy Lenderman, issued a response to the commissioner’s claims by announcing that he will “recommend to the BOE to cut the… rate.” Lenderman is already anticipating upcoming increases in school spending for retiring teachers and is tackling those cuts well in advance. Keeping a school system operating within its budget, Lenderman feels, is the responsibility of the Superintendent and the Board and he has no plans on “seeking more money from taxpayers.”
As Superintendent, Mr. Lenderman’s first order of business was to drastically reduce his own pay by $60,000 per year. In six years, that $60,000 has amassed into a substantial savings for the taxpayers, and a surplus for the students which amounts to over $360,000.
Lenderman is a staunch believer in cutting costs at every corner and Chattooga County School System’s 4-day school week is a prime example. Eliminating Monday classes cut out costs in buses, fuel, food, and staffing which has resulted in an estimated $700,000 yearly according to Lenderman. This is the beginning of the eighth year the school system has operated on a 4-day school week, amassing a $5.6 million savings.
The Chattooga County School Board of Education will hold two public meetings. The first will be on Thursday, August 10th at 5:00 pm, and the second will be on Thursday, August 17th at 5:00 pm. These meetings will be held at the Chattooga County Education Center located at 206 Penn Street Summerville GA 30747.