State considers giving schools flexibility on ELOST - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

State considers giving schools flexibility on ELOST

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  Georgia lawmakers approved a bill Tuesday to give schools more flexibility on how sales tax money is spent.

Representative Ed Rynders of Lee County co-sponsored the legislation to help school systems during these tough economic times. Currently, school systems can only use Education Specialized Local Option Sales Taxes for capital projects, such as building Twin Oaks Elementary School in Lee County. The bill would change that.

The Lee County Superintendent there says his system is growing so rapidly, they need to use the money for building, but he understands how a change would benefit other districts.

"I could see where it would help, I'm not sure it would help us here in Lee County that much because of our needs but some communities, not all the communities in our state we have 180 school districts, I'm sure some would benefit from it," said Dr. Larry Walters, Lee County Schools Superintendent.

The measure could help districts avoid furloughs by allowing them to spend the sales tax revenue on salaries for the next three years. Running a school system is expensive.

The Dougherty County School System budget for this school year is more than $120 million.

2009-2010 Operating Budget at a Glance

Expenditures:

 

Instructional

$81,149,828

Maintenance & Operations

13,239,887

School Administration

8,783,313

Student Transportation

5,356,375

Pupil Services

3,294,433

Support Services - Business

1,649,200

Educational Media Services

3,264,664

Improvement Instructional Services

1,719,802

General Administration

1,300,869

Other Program Support

2,372,879

Total Expenditures

$122,131,250

 

 

Revenue Sources:

 

State Sources

$79,544,453

Local Sources

40,307,371

Federal Sources

4,333,054

Other Sources

12,500

Total Revenues

$124,197,378

 

 

Per Pupil Expenditure

$7,649

 


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