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Board of Education passes budget for upcoming school year

NEWTON COUNTY – There were no disputes as members of the Newton County Board of Education unanimously passed the fiscal year (FY) 25 budget at the June 18 meeting.

This concludes a months-long process in determining the projected monetary allocations for the 2024-25 school year.

The projected revenue for the FY25 general fund finalized at $239,406,685, marking a 5.09 percent increase from the FY24 amended budget.

Majority of the increase ($3.4 million) is due to a state funding initiative to accommodate the $2,500 certified salary scale increase. 

This figure is a $300,000 decrease from what was approved in the tentative budget in May. 

According to chief financial officer Erica Robinson, “new information” that was discovered following the tentative budget led to the reduction in projected revenue.

An expenditure reduction was also made in the amount of $33,451, resulting in a total of $247,991,644. This would result in a 7.96 percent increase from the FY24 amended budget.

Around $4.5 million will go toward a $2,500 salary increase for all certified staff, including both salary and benefits.

Additionally, a 3.5 percent salary increase for all classified staff, including salary and benefits, a rise in employer health insurance premiums and Teacher Retirement Services (TRS) contributions will account for the rise in expenditures.

Data provided by Robinson also showed that the projected student enrollment is 18,886, a 172-student increase from the amended FY24 budget. This puts the estimated per pupil expenditure at $13,131.

With those adjustments, as well as a beginning balance of $51.6 million, the final ending balance was listed at roughly over $43 million.

In addition to the general fund, the board also uses three other operating funds including the capital projects fund, the debt service fund and the special revenue fund.

Those figures were approved with the following numbers:

  • Capital projects fund (revenue): $24,070,000
  • Capital projects fund (expenditures): $24,070,000
  • Debt service fund (revenue): $6,796,236
  • Debt service fund (expenditures): $11,680,969
  • Special revenue fund (revenue): $45,639,059
  • Special revenue fund (expenditures): $48,340,559

Vice-chair Shakila Henderson-Baker made the motion to approve the budget with all remaining members following suit at a 5-0 approval.

As with other budgets, it is expected that this figure will be amended throughout the year.

Next, the board will meet on July 23 for another combined work session/meeting to vote on the millage rate. 

Last year, the board opted to take a slight decrease to 16.00 mills from the FY23 rate of 16.788 mills.