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The Jackson County Board of Education along with Jackson County Schools invites you to attend a West Side Community Meeting on Thursday, May 8, 2014 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM. Please join us as we look at the current challenges and discuss potential changes to the configuration of our West-Side schools. The meeting will be held at:
West Jackson Primary School Gym
4825 Highway 53
Braselton, GA 30517
Please call (706) 367-5151 for more information.
Budget and Personnel News Release and FAQ’s
Why is Jackson County Schools having financial challenge?
- Over the past 10 years, over $32,000,000 have been lost due to state austerity reductions. Additionally, local tax digest has decrease in excess of $7,000,000. The general operating budget for the school system is approximately $60,000,000. Employer paid health benefits and retirement costs have significantly increased over the last several years (approximately $600,000/year). Significant funding decrease coupled with an increased enrollment has created a financial burden that requires thoughtful and careful budget prioritization.
What rationale were used in the budget and personnel planning process?
- provide students with a full instructional calendar,
- provide teachers with a full 190 day calendar to include professional learning and planning time, and
- rebuild the district's financial stability by increasing our fund balance to $9 million over the next few years.
Why does the school system need a $9 million fund balance?
- The Georgia Department of Revenue recommends school districts keep 10% to 15% of annual operating expense in reserves. School Districts are funded by state allotments and local tax collections. Jackson County Schools receive QBE (Quality Basic Education) funds from the state for salaries and operations based upon student enrollment. The state fiscal calendar runs July 1st through June 30th while the local fiscal calendar aligns January 1-December 31st. State funding covers expenses up to a certain point, with local revenue picking up the difference. With present staffing levels, local revenue must cover approximately $1.5 to $1.7 million per month. With a projected fund balance at the end of the year of less than $1 million, we will have to borrow funds to meet payroll in July of 2014. A Tax Anticipation Note (TAN-loan) will be required to meet the state revenue shortfall to cover approximately $1.5 million monthly over a six month period. A $9 million fund balance would prevent the school system from taking an interest bearing loan (TAN) to meet operating expenses.
What would the school system's budget status look like if there was not a reduction in force?
- If the school system reinstated a full calendar for students and teachers with the present staffing level, the system would be over budget by approximately $4,600,000.
What options did the Jackson County Schools consider?