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B.O.E. may receive unexpected $1.5M
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An unexpected increase in a variety of taxes coming in to the Newton County School System could potentially increase the general fund by roughly $1.5 million.

The NCSS originally budgeted an expected $40,737,025 for the current school year. However, at the end of March the system has already received over $41,104,717 - 100.90 percent of the budgeted amount with 75 percent of the school year completed.

The taxes come from ad valorem vehicle taxes, taxes on timber and transfer taxes. Since the NCSS will continue to collect the vehicle taxes for the remainder of the year, they could expect to receive that $1.5 million if the amount coming in continues at this rate.

Although an influx of unexpected money sounds good, Superintendent Gary Mathews urged board members at their Tuesday meeting to remember that while the 2012-13 school year shouldn't require the same amount in cuts this year did, the 2013-14 year is still looking shaky and the board may well be forced to make cuts.

"We don't know if that's the case, but that's likely the case," he said.
A tentative budget is expected to be presented to the board in May. The board is scheduled to adopt a final budget in June and a millage rate in July.

In other BOE news:
• The replacement for Newton High School is on track with the building and retaining walls completed and 95 percent waterproofed. All building footings have been formed and poured and 50 percent of the precast slabs have been installed. Roof structures will begin erection in the next few weeks.

• Board members saw potential updates to the elementary and secondary handbooks for the coming school years. While most are just general changes, such as dates, names and costs, there are some additions, including that students can have their driver's licenses suspended for certain infractions and the inclusion of online harassment as a way of threatening teachers, staff and students.