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Board of Education passes tentative FY25 budget; appoints new principals
boe tentative budget
A look at the tentative FY2025 budget for the Newton County School System. - photo by Courtesy of Newton County School System

NEWTON COUNTY – With the 2023-24 school year coming to a close, members of the Newton County Board of Education are making moves to solidify plans for the next fiscal year.

The board voted to move further in the FY25 budget process, unanimously approving the tentative budget.

Chief financial officer Erica Robinson shared a rundown of the tentative budget at Tuesday’s meeting with a detailed list of how funds will be allocated.

Between the four funding sources – which are the general fund, capital projects fund, debt service fund and special revenue fund – revenue is expected to be $379,548,039. This includes money from the beginning balance that would roll over to the FY25 budget.

Expenditures are currently marked between the four funding sources at $332,116,623.

Robinson noted that after a previous budget workshop, the board requested to add two social worker positions as well as a district athletic coordinator position. The request for those positions amounted to $408,989 and has already been incorporated in the budget.

Robinson did note that they are looking at all options on how to make it cost efficient.

“However, we are actively exploring options to make at least one of these positions budget-neutral,” Robinson said.

Going hand-in-hand with the proposed tentative FY25 budget is the 2025 State budget signed by Governor Brian Kemp, which resulted in a $2,500 increase in the state-certified salary scale for teachers. 

The proposal made by NCS in the tentative budget in response to the state was a 3.5 percent pay increase for all support staff employees.

With no further questions from the board, a motion was made by vice-chair Shakila Henderson-Baker and seconded by District 4 representative Anderson Bailey, with all five members voting in agreement.

While the tentative budget was approved, this is just the next step in the budget process for the Board of Education.

After proper legal advertising is completed, the final budget will be voted on at the June 18 meeting. Once a vote passes, a final millage rate will then be the next step in the process, which is tentatively scheduled to be voted on at the July 23 meeting.

In terms of personnel, the board approved three new principal hires for this upcoming school year, which were publicly announced by superintendent Dr. Duke Bradley III at Tuesday’s meeting.

The first principal announced was Dr. Phoenicia Wilson for Clements Middle School. Wilson will be joining Clements Middle School from Lamar County Schools in Barnesville. She succeeds Fred Richard who announced his impending retirement in April.

Next was Kelly Walker who was appointed as principal of Mansfield Elementary. Walker is currently the principal at Flint Hill Elementary School and has been an employee with Newton County Schools (NCS) for over 20 years. Walker will succeed Chris Haymore who is also set to retire at the end of the current school term.

Filling the role of principal at Flint Hill Elementary is Heidi Coachman, who will be leaving the central board office for this position. Coachman is currently the Elementary Curriculum and Instruction Coordinator for NCS.

The hires were announced via social media on Wednesday, too.

However, there was no update given on the vacant principal seat at Heard-Mixon Elementary school, which became open after Dr. Angelia Cameron announced her retirement.

Bradley offered some encouraging words for the newly-named principals at Tuesday’s meeting.

“We are expecting extraordinary leadership from each and every one of you,” Bradley said.