Fewer students could cost local taxpayers more - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Fewer students could cost local taxpayers more

June 29, 2007

Albany -- Fewer students in Dougherty County schools next year could cost local homeowners more. Dougherty County taxpayers could have to make up about $600,000 in lost school grant funding.

Dougherty County Executive Director of Business Robert Lloyd says the school system is projected to have 165 fewer full time students next fall. The 2005-2006 state count had Dougherty County schools with 16 thousand 375 students  In 2006-2007 that fell to 16 thousand 209 students.

The state's Quality Basic Education Grants pays Dougherty County schools about $3650 per student.  So estimates of 165 less students this fall will mean about $600,000 less in state grant money.

But Lloyd says despite less students, they can't cut back on the number of teachers, because of class size mandates from the state. Lloyd said "we probably still need the same numbers of teachers, however we get less grant to actually fund those teachers. So there is a shifting of funding from state funds to local tax funds."

 Lloyd says the Dougherty County school budget is expected to be about  126 and a half million dollars, about one half million more than last year. 

Lloyd says they will have to wait until the county finishes it's tax re-evaluations before they can finalize their millage rate needs.

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