Dougherty County School Board wants more $ - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty County School Board wants more $

June 20, 2007

Albany -- The School Board is finalizing next year's budget, and they expect to collect $8 million  more. While property evaluations have risen this year, the school board does not plan to lower their millage rate.  

How much does it cost to fund Dougherty County Schools next year? So far, district workers say over $126 million. That's up $8 million from this year.

"The cost of operating everything increases from year to year, in education that's no different. We have utility bills, cost of books, cost of salaries, various line items that always tend to increase," said School Board Chairman Mike Wyndom.

At a budget meeting, Board members took another look at next year's proposed budget before they finalize it next week.

District workers are recommending the board keep the millage rate the same as last year, but you could end up paying more in school taxes because of the increase in property assessments.

Finance Director Robert Lloyd says the money the district collects from you could've increased by almost 20 percent. "However we've taken the conservative view because of all the appeals that are out there, we're only increasing it by 17% which equates to $6 million," he said.

A $6 million increase from your tax money over last year.

Lloyd says, that way if 3% of appeals are granted, the school system can still operate within the budget. "We're not trying to spend any more money, these things take account," Lloyd said.

Things like teacher pay raises, a new school on Gillionville Road, and the addition of graduation coaches in middle schools next year.

A tax increase district workers say is needed. "There's no excess of frivolous excess in the budget," said Wyndom.

And you will help fund those $8 million additions. Lloyd says one reason for next year's budget increase is due to the State of Georgia. He says the school district has to foot $1.5 million in unfunded state mandates.

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