These measures came as a result of significant reductions in state funding and, to a lesser degree, a decrease in federal stimulus money. Local revenue also fell by 1.24 percent compared to fiscal year 2010, but the proposed 2011 budget does not include local tax increases.
The proposed budget’s general fund, which covers day-to-day operations, contains $76,032,508 and is down almost $5 million compared to the fiscal year 2010 budget. The total amount of the proposed budget is $113,070,638.
A cost-containment committee — comprised of principals, assistant principals, teachers, central office staff, parents and business partners — recently provided more than 30 savings ideas to make up for the shortfall, and eight of those recommendations were included in the budget proposal.
Reducing the school year for students from 180 to 178 days and cutting an additional four non-instructional days is expected to save the school system $1.9 million.
“We opted for people losing paydays instead of losing jobs,” Smith said.
While teachers, if applicable, will receive salary increases as determined by the state’s teacher salary schedule, administrators and classified employees will not see any other pay raises in the upcoming school year. This will save the school system an estimated $279,000.
Staggered school start times, which the Griffin-Spalding County Board of Education had already adopted and which will go into effect with the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year, add another $251,000 in savings, because fewer bus drivers will drive more routes with fewer buses. The school system took advantage of bus drivers retiring or resigning rather than having to lay them off, Smith said.
Some more savings recommendations aside, the budget proposes the use of $626,000 from fund balance reserves to come out with a balanced budget.
After being proposed to the Board of Education, the budget was placed on first-reading status. That opens it for discussion and public comments. The final adoption of the fiscal year 2011 budget is expected to take place at the next regularly scheduled board meeting on June 29, as fiscal year 2011 begins on July 1.