A $209 million operational budget for Coweta schools will go into effect July 1 following Tuesday’s final vote by the Coweta County Board of Education.
Board members, who voted 7-0 initially to approve the budget during their regular June meeting, voted 6-1 in their final approval with Linda Menk opposed.
The 2019 budget provides a 1 percent cost-of-living raise for all school system employees and doesn’t require a millage rate increase. The board intends to keep the 18.59 millage rate that has been in place since 2004.
The budget also:
• Maintains a 180-day instructional calendar and all current instructional programs for students.
• Provides step increases for certified and classified employees, where due.
• Fully funds an increase in the school system’s contributions to the state Teacher Retirement System.
• Provides a 15 percent increase in bus driver pay.
• Allows for 10 additional teaching positions system-wide.
• Sets aside funding for additional school resource officers.
The board also voted 7-0 to approve three-year contracts for educational software that will save the school system $300,000 over the next three years. Much of the software already is being used in classrooms and on school system-issued student Chromebooks, and it aligns with Georgia standards and information the school system has obtained from its standardized assessments.
Educational software is purchased with money set aside for digital resources in the 2012 educational Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.
The FY 2019 General Fund budget of $209 million is funded principally by state revenues and local property taxes. The budget approved Tuesday anticipates an overall increase in state funding during the coming fiscal year, and maintenance of the current 18.59 mill local property tax rate with 4.5 percent in anticipated growth in the local tax digest. The General Fund budget includes the largest portion of funding for instruction and pupil services, maintenance and operation of schools, transportation, and other operational costs.
Information from two public budget workshops preceding the June 12 vote is available at www.cowetaschools.net on the Budget, Financial and SPLOST Information page. The page also provides links to current FY2019 revenue and expenditure detail, along with several years’ worth of school system budget information, millage rate history, tax digest information, school system annual audit reports and annual ESPLOST reports.