School board puts off millage increase: will raise it higher to offset state cuts

Mon, 08/11/2008 - 10:20am
By: Ben Nelms

It looks like an increase by Fayette County School Board of .754 mills will not be enough to offset recently announced state education cuts of $2.25 million and possible decreased revenues if the state Homeowners Tax Relief Credit is withheld. Board members Monday morning voted to advertise a new rate of 19.75 mills for the Maintenance & Operations millage that will bring the increase to 1.154 mills over the current rate of 18.596. The millage had been advertised at 19.35 mills.

School system employees are tentatively expected to begin a co-pay on medical and dental premiums beginning in January, amounting to $1.3 million in savings for the second half of the 2008-2009 budget cycle. The school system will also implement a five percent reduction in the operations budget, expected to generate approximately $400,000 in savings.

The board’s decision came after Gov. Sonny Perdue announced a $1.6 billion reduction in spending for state departments. Cuts in money received by Fayette County school system amounts to $2.25 million.

Playing into the board’s decision was the announcement by Perdue late last week to withhold the Homeowners Tax Relief Credit, a measure that, if approved, would amount to a $3.5 million hit to school system revenues.

Public hearing on the new proposed millage will be held at the school system office Aug. 21 at 8:30 a.m. and 6:45 p.m. and again Aug. 28 at 8:30 a.m.

login to post comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Submitted by PTC Observer on Mon, 08/11/2008 - 9:41pm.

Here we go! Looks like they are lining up the SPLOST vote AND a millage increase. Whatever happened to pay for performance?

How's your wallet these days? Well it's going to get a little flatter.

Submitted by shanm on Tue, 08/12/2008 - 9:07am.

Here is my problem. I was visiting Richmond VA recently for work and was talking with a parent there about local schools. There are programs in place to accelerate students work and support their efforts in math, sciences and so on. I'm talking things like a 7th grader studying 11th grade math. I'm talking things like all day pull outs for the child to go to a high school classroom (supervised). And the best we can do is a 1/2 day pull out where the kids are asked to 'think about this or that'. For the amount of money we are paying (which is about the same as VA I might add-I asked) our kids should be getting MUCH better.

Submitted by bluesky on Tue, 08/12/2008 - 10:31am.

Fayette has 22,232 kids. Richmond has 24,247; a difference of 2,015 students. Fayette’s budget is $197,132,660. Richmond’s is $269,217,496. A difference of $72,084,83. So they have about 2000 more students but spend over $72 Million more just on education than we do in Fayette. They also have revenue sources we do not. For example, the Sales Tax. You can check all this out for yourself!
09BoardsApprovedBudgetMarch32008.pdf Maybe they have more programs because they invest more in their kids’ education.

Submitted by shanm on Tue, 08/12/2008 - 4:38pm.

BTW - this is Henrico county not Richmond city. Turns out there are 48,245 kids in the county and the total budget is $508.8m. But put that into perspective. It works out to roughly $10,550 per student. Using the figures here - Fayette is roughly $8,900. That works out to an approximate differential of $37.3m or roughly a 18% change.

Submitted by Bonkers on Tue, 08/12/2008 - 5:01pm.

You don't know what you are talking about!

These things are mad difficult to evaluate deliberately! Everywhere.

If they get their money from numerous sources but only talk about one
at a time---they will lose you.

Only way to call them is to compare the total expenditures (if you can get that number) with previous years expenditure. I said TOTAL---no exceptions. Just try to get that!

Submitted by shanm on Tue, 08/12/2008 - 7:15pm.

But my comment was really about the composition of the spend. How much does a accelerated or gifted program take from whatever the total is. One figure was just slightly over $1m or roughly 1/2 of 1% and that's with acceleration support and a all day pull out program... Again, the point is how the kids are being short changed and the taxpayers are asked to dip into their pockets....again...

Submitted by shanm on Tue, 08/12/2008 - 3:03pm.

The funding for the Richmond VA gifted programs total up to 1.2m for 2009 projected - what is Fayette's expenditure?

NUK_1's picture
Submitted by NUK_1 on Tue, 08/12/2008 - 12:02pm.

Virginia uses lotto scam proceeds to fund only K-12 schools and not any higher education, which is where over 100mil of the City of Richmond's school funding comes from. GA could do similar if they eliminated HOPE entirely and in turn gave all the lotto money to K-12 schools.

Submitted by shanm on Tue, 08/12/2008 - 3:01pm.

If someone came to me talking about a program like that for Fayette county and told me that it would cost a budget increase of around 30% I'd think twice about it (until I looked at my children and envisioned the change it would bring about for them). The previous post makes a fair point on investment, but I'm not sure that if we put $72m into the system that we'd end up with similar programs.

And let's be clear - that is not what we are talking about with this situation. It is is a continuation of the current system as is. Which is disappointing.

I don't see a similar program being discussed for the funding - what I see is continued funding of the system that will produce kids that are behind once they are out of the system. To the point of this post - we put the money in higher ed, when in some respect it is too late. Thus shifting the education burden to those institutions rather than where it belongs.

Finally, there is an administrative factor here as well in that the teacher at the school in question here was seeking to put the child in advanced coursework as well as making it happen for the parent. The parent talked about the whole conversation taking maybe an hour and this was the 1st time they had met. The parent had taken it upon themselves to accelerate their child's education in the state they were moving from and that info was used in VA to continue that achievement. Please don't misunderstand, I'm not saying Fayette teachers don't care - I'm talking about the creation of an environment where kids are encouraged and supported to achieve.

Submitted by Jo Anne on Mon, 08/11/2008 - 10:26pm.

See I don't mind paying for education. But this is a little crazy. How much is too much? I am not sure but as my Grandma said you can't get blood out of a turnip. Fayette county Shcool system where do you think we are gonna get it from. START CHARGING THE OUT OF COUNTY STUDENTS? I DON'T CARE WHY THEY ARE IN FAYETTE COUNTY SCHOOLS, IT COULD BE A FAMILY MEMBER WORKS HERE OR WAIT, YOU ARE A GREAT FOOTBALL PLAYER - GET YOUR PARENTS TO PAY THE DUES. SIMPLE HUH? I THINK IT IS AROUND $7000.OO+ A YEAR. IF FOOTBALL MEANS THAT MUCH THEN PAY THE DUES SO I DON'T HAVE TO PAY FOR A CLAYTON COUNTY FOOTBALL "HERO". WHATEVER.

suggarfoot's picture
Submitted by suggarfoot on Tue, 08/12/2008 - 9:45pm.

Three on the BOE don't get it! We don't have any money! What is so hard to understand about that? If we don't have it, we can't give it to you!

You are right on about the out of county students. If the BOE would clean up their own act and get those kids out, our taxes would drop dramatically. One, will call you a racist if you complain. It isn't racist, if they don't live here, we shouldn't pay to educate them! But hey, that is her Yankee ideas, she no doubt feels with her lack of a college education, has come down here to enlighten the rest of us!

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.