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BOE starts budget process
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Last night, the Newton County School System (NCSS) Board of Education (BOE) took the first step in a six month process for the development and eventual adoption of its 2017-2018 budget. Erica Robinson, executive financial manager, presented a proposed budget calendar.

That proposed calendar will be finalized and approved at the BOE’s next meeting Jan. 17. It outlines the many steps that will lead to adoption of a final 2017-2018 budget at the BOE’s last meeting in June. The NCSS operates on a July 1 to June 30 fiscal year.

The calendar includes two general sub-processes. There is an initial internal process that NCSS leaders, faculty and staff members will follow as they develop a tentative budget. That sub-process will end when the BOE adopts a tentative budget in May.

The second sub-process will begin when the BOE publically publishes the tentative budget and invites public comment in The Covington News, the BOE’s legal organ for posting such documents and notices. The public will then have about three weeks to comment on the tentative budget. That comment period will include two public hearings.

Although the BOE will adopt a final budget in June, it will not set its final property tax millage rate until July. If there are proposed changes in the millage rate, additional public hearings will be held.

In other action, the BOE approved the renewal of a contract with Harris School Solutions for technical support, troubleshooting, customer support, training information and software updates and enhancements for their NextGen financial software. The new contract will cover the 2017 calendar year and cost $32,852. The BOE approved the hiring of six teachers, two paraprofessionals, and five staff members. It approved three personnel transfers, five resignations and three terminations.