The Board of Education approved the FY2011 budget, tentatively adopted in May, in a 4-1 vote.
Board members Katrina Young, Jean Yontz, Brad Smith and Chairman Wales Barksdale voted for the budget and Don McKinney voted against passage of the budget. Members Darlene Hotchkiss and Jeff Dugan were absent.
Previously McKinney had stated during a budget committee meeting that the reason he was likely to vote against the budget was because he wasn't comfortable approving a budget that he didn't fully comprehend that would require a tax increase.
After the BOE meeting on Thursday night, McKinney said, "My only reason is, I hadn't been on the board long enough to make an intelligent decision one way or another... Rather than vote to increase the milage, I decided I don't know enough to put a burden on people. I'd rather wait until I get a little more experience."
The BOE had tentatively adopted a budget that cut about $10.2 million, would have no furlough days and would require an increase of about 2 mils in the school portion of the property tax.
The school portion of the property tax has remained at 21 mils since 2006 and has not increased since 2003.
Chief Financial Officer Lee Davis previously pointed out that due to the drop in property values, even with a 2 mil increase, the school system would collect less in property taxes than in 2010.
Some of the larger items in the $10.2 million list of cuts included suspending contributions to the Alternative Retirement account for one year ($3.6 million saved), increasing class size by 0.6 students (eliminating 21.5 teacher positions for a savings of $1.4 million), eliminating local funding for 10 special education consultants ($1 million), and suspending computer replacements for this year ($1.2 million). The points system, which allocates funds and resources to the schools, was also revised, reducing 27 teachers equivalents.