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Fayette School Board budget talks: Expenses still outstrip revenues by $14 million

New proposals by Fayette Schools Superintendent Jeff Bearden would cut up to $4.4 million in a proposed budget where expenses will still exceed revenues by more than $14 million, but it will leave $5.7 million in the bank to help offset the certain shortages that will continue in 2012.

The Fayette County Board of Education held another budget work session May 31 in an attempt to reconcile the FY 2011-2012 budget that, as presented a week earlier, would leave the school system with expenses exceeding revenues by $19 million and wiping out the fund balance to do it, all while there is no end in sight to the recession.

Bearden at the May 24 meeting recommended a General Fund budget that included $189,070,871 in expenses and $170,228,865 in revenues, a difference of $18.84 million.

That shortfall could be made up by using the expected June 30 fund balance of $19,139,574, thereby resulting in a June 30, 2012 fund balance of $297,568.

Bearden in addressing the proposed budget added that, if adopted, his intention would be to then have the board begin meeting this summer for the FY 2012-2013 school year that begins in July 2012 to make significant cuts that could amount to approximately $15 million.

But that did not occur May 24 since three of the five board members wanted to have the budget numbers re-worked so that some of the cuts could be potentially made for the upcoming school year rather than making all the cuts 12 months from now.

Voicing that opinion were Marion Key and Bob Todd and Sam Tolbert, with Tolbert suggesting that Bearden look at the potential for cutting approximately $9 million out of the proposed budget. Board members Janet Smola and Terri Smith supported Bearden’s recommendation.

Bearden returned May 31 with a two-part proposal that cut more than $900,000 from the original proposal or one that would cut $4.4 million in expenses. The proposal came from two large budget categories: administration and personnel.

Bearden proposed $916,458 in cuts from a number of administrative line items and/or a $3.44 million cut by reducing the school year by two student days and five days overall. Those specific days would need to be worked out if the proposal meets with board approval, Bearden said.

Expenses under the first option would be $188,154,413 while the expenses after the administrative and school calendar cuts in the second option would total $184,712,413. Revenues projections remained unchanged at $170,228,865.

So “option one” would translate into a budget where expenses exceed revenues by $17,925,548 and “option two” would result in a budget where expenses would exceed revenues by $14,483,548.

Comptroller Laura Brock reported that the expected June 30 fund balance, as of the May 31 payroll, would be $20,227,919. Under “option one” the year ending fund balance on June 30, 2012 would be $2.302 million while the balance under “option two” would be $5.744 million.

Even if the board adopts the “option two” recommendation with its June 30, 2012 fund balance of $5.7 million in the checking account, the FY 2012-2013 school year could easily see an additional $10-20 million in expenses exceeding revenues that will come to bear in that school year.

That exact amount will not be known for some time and is something that the school board will have to address quickly, as Bearden and board members have said, based on what we know now about the state and local economy and what local and state economic forecasters expect to occur in the next two or more years.

The school board will continue budget discussions at the June 7 work session.

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Comments

At least at my local elementary school, the kids did little or nothing of consequence after CRCT was over and did NOTHING but have PARTIES the last week of school, so you could lop off those days with ZERO loss of instruction time and save a pile of money. Anyone else experience similar do-nothing days after CRCT administration at their elementary schools?

In reference to what "Ninja Guy" has stated below, the elementary principal who allowed this to happen should be fired.

My kids are high school age and they worked until exams and then exams were the last 3 days of class. I don't want to see any reduction in the school year. Education is important in our household. My kids did not attend elementary school in Fayette County; however, IF they had done so, I would have been complaining to all if there had been nothing but parties the last days of school.

suggarfoot's picture

made such a mess of the school system by building schools where developers 'thought they might' be interested in putting subdivsions. Nevermind the hundreds of acres of extra land they bought we can't give away!

We will be paying higher taxes for their stupidity for many years to come, but getting less for our kids. I resent every penny of school taxes I pay because of all the money those 3 have squandered.

Rivers Elementary was built for a minimum of 600 kids. It now has less than 40 special ed kids. What fools those three were.

Based on newspaper reports, Todd and Key don't seem to be friends of teachers. They opposed giving pay back to teachers and seem to be supporting cutting the school year and cutting pay to employees (by reducing the number of work days).

b

suggarfoot's picture

It is just that till Dr Tolbert was elected to replace Wright, Smola, Smith, and Wright had a strangle holt on the vote of the BOE. They voted together. They were the land barrons that bought the extra land and they were behind the extra schools. All that swilled money out of the system for years to come. It was some monumental stupidity that has left us broke.

Dr Todd has a son that teaches. Both Mr and Ms Key as well as Ms Todd just retired from teaching so they are very pro teachers and children. Smith is married to a developer and Smola never taught nor does she have kids in the system. As far as education, she also only went to college about 2 years.

Dr Tod, Dr Tobert and Ms Key know that they have to do something or no one will have anything. Smith and Smola want to keep spending us in a hole till after the next election. The don't want a bulls eye drawn on their past handy work.

Now Todd, Key, and Tolbert are trying to pick up the pieces. We have no money because the other 3 threw it away on the above mentioned deals. Hundreds of acres of land and empty schools because their developer friends were interested in the empty land around where they built the schools. the schools weren't built for OUR..the taxpayers children. They were built as selling tools for developers. Instead of future people when they got here paying for schools, we were set up to pay for them and then the developers and new home buyers reap the rewards of our tax dollars. Pretty rotten don't you think?

G35 Dude's picture

This article says very little. What is being cut in the $4.4 million? What other cuts and/or options are being considered? What is the difference between option 1 and option 2? Tell us more than we still don't have enough money.

You can't use logic with an illogical person.

...........is terribly confusing!

What is the difference between closing the schools a few days, and I have to assume that teachers, etc., would not be paid----and simply not paying the teachers that same amount of days?

That way the kids would benefit if not the teachers.
Isn't the kids what it is about?

Is this also a fact: If staff other than teachers are forced to work without pay as would the teachers, that would be illegal?

It is difficult to understand how so much money is saved by shutting down the schools for a few days, unless it is the explanation about not having to pay the staff if they don't have to work!

Is "furlough" the only legal way not to have to pay teachers? They aren't hourly workers are they?

I can't think of anything more disturbing and stupid than all this!!!!

If you must, simply close the schools at the end of the year a few days and pay no one!
Or start school late a few days!

As I understand it, salaries can also be cut to make budget, or simply hire fewer people when school starts!

The program proposed is inconvenient for everyone, including working Mothers and Fathers. The kids just loaf around. It appears we have no respect for the help!

Folks, we got ourself into A RECESSION and there isn't any more money, and less further on!

Maybe cancel school for a full semester and save the money for the next year and go all year!

Since our school board won't take the lead on this, if I were the Superintendent I would find another job!

It seems we are supposed to be afraid of cutting budgets in a logical way!

suggarfoot's picture

another big problem is the COST just to.. MAINTAIN...Rivers and other half filled schools. Open or closed, it is an albatross. I once knew the figures, can't remember them, but it is mega bucks! The money is still going into those very bad blunders the three amigos made. It will haunt this system for years.

We need to unload Rivers by renting in out to some small college like Georiga Military or Griffen Tech. The problem is they are wanting us to give it to them. We are screwed.

If our money was going for something worthwhile it would be different, but we are paying for the foolish actions of their past. Rivers is a money pit.

What do you want done? Hang the "three," maybe. Would that cut the expenses?

This sounds like complaining about the sun coming up every day, as it has for 5 billion years, and wanting "something" done about it! Hang God, or Mother Nature maybe.

It is interesting though that empty building is costing a lot, as you say!

Cut the utilities and blow it up so vandals won't live in it!

We destroy buildings every day in th USA.

Several contaminated ones on Dividend Drive that can't be cleaned up!
Our Love Canal!

suggarfoot's picture

I'm pointing out we have some very unnecessary expenses far far less important than children's lunches or school busses. We are getting nothing for good for our children by keeping Rivers open. It houses 40 kids and the cost is overwhelming for what little we get out of it.

Some serious thought needs to be given to unloading Rivers or renting it out, as well as unloading those hundreds of acres of land we have.

While children's lunches are important as well as busses...we are paying for foolishness.(Rivers aka extra schools)

You are hard to understand.

"pointing out that we have some very unnecessary expenses far far less important than children's lunches or school busses."

Less important than lunches?

Have you tried to sell anything lately?

suggarfoot's picture

paying thousands a year to maintain an empty school is disgusting and not remotley as important as children eating or having a way to school. But...we are paying a lot of money for maintaining schools that should not have been built and that money ..COULD..have gone to more important things like food and transportaion for children. Understand now?

Well the school was built. It is there.

At the current recesion time it can't be sold--not a good location and unuseable as is for anything else.

Spilt milk is spilt.

suggarfoot's picture

of Smith and Smola's blunders in their mad cow stampeed to help the developers with their every whim. You might as well not cry over the 'split milk' of the cost of running the schools and give up. I'm glad Todd, Key, and Tolbert don't think that way. Otherwise we would really go in the hole.

grassroots's picture

Here's where your property tax dollars go. Just auction it off and get it over with. Do it for THE CHILDREN.
http://www.fcboe.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=362
For sale over a year.
SPLOSTOPINION
See Todd Interview.

BHH's picture

That is the quickest way to save this money and have no net effect on the children's education.

The buses are not my responsibility as a tax payer.

Shut them down.

Get them off the road.

Auction them off.

pyramidman

And the students will get to school how?????

BHH's picture

Don't care.

Use your imagination.

Any way you like.

Just not on my back any longer.

pyramidman

You must pay a lot of taxes!

The buses on th road would be replaced by 1000 autos taking the kids to McIntosh High!
They ain't gonna walk nowadays, not even 2-3 miles.

Do you live under that same rock as the GEICO duo?

Sounds like BHH believes in socialism for me but not for thee! I don't think we need fire protection at all! Let the homeowners figure out how to put out the fires! All those shiny trucks and firefighters sitting idle all those hours--don't need them! In fact, I think we need to pass some claw-back legislation to take back salary paid to firefighters for just sitting around tax-payer funded fire houses like welfare queens! Fire them all, or at least pay them only for actual work!

Go Braves, Time To Put the Marlins in the Rear View Mirror!

BHH's picture

Don't knock the fire service. Sure they can cut back too but we still need them trained and ready.

And where do you get socialism out of anything I'm proposing.

I'd say everything I've suggested is less socialist than what exists now.

pyramidman

to be forced at gunpoint to fund his job whether they want his services or not! I have sprinklers in my house and a big hose right out side! I guess I can learn to hook up a bigger hose to the hydrant in about 10 minutes! I guess your pension is being paid off the back of the taxpayers too! No more socialist firefighters sitting around collecting government checks! Tell him PTCO! He's a socialist and doesn't even know it!

Braves, Gotta Take At Least Two Out of Three From the Fish!

BHH's picture

My pensions are NOT charity. And they don't fall on the backs of anyone other than those who agreed to pay them.

I fulfilled my portion of the agreement to work 30 yrs and provide the services required in order to collect the pensions that was promised for the work performed under the conditions specified.

I payed my share into those funds all those years and they were well managed enough to be able to pay me under the agreed upon terms.

pyramidman

Every American gets about 60% of his living (retired about 75%) from Social Programs. They don't admit it because it was aready there and because many others do the same thing.

List of Socialistic Practices (only major ones)

1. Military costs, and also the protection we all get from it.
2. All Interstates, Highways, and roads, bridges, and maintenance.
3. All dams and water supplies and canals and levies.
4. All police protection whether local, county, state, or federal.
5. All fire protection.
6. All federal and state rights programs. (SS, MC, Grants--schools, Industry, research, etc.
7. All tax paid employees--local, county, state, federal.
8. Emergency Rooms and their employees. (35%)
9. Hospitals with latest science (25%).
10.Food control and Inspection.
11.Government subsidized utilities (30%) (gas, electric, oil, water.)
12.Federal Parks and natural resources.
13.Maps, Satellites, Moon trips, world trade.
14.Children's protection.
15.Regulated money flow and protection. (banks, treasury, etc.)
16.Free Speech, right to live, and ownership. (with rules)
17.Protection from Congrespeople sending naked pictures! No Lynchings, no racial water fountains and drug stores, no posses who are drunk, no judges who violate the rules, THIS COULD GO ON..........

socialists in some respect. That is my point exactly!

Go Braves, Fish Must Go Down!

Your point is, yes we do socialistic things as a must do, but you want to complain anyway.

I want BHH to stop complaining! Have you never heard of irony?

Go Braves!

Yes, Irony is wonderful sometimes.

I may have goofed in your case.

BHH's picture

Just take it upon yourself to get them there and feed them.

I don't want to buy their cloths for you either.

pyramidman

I would prefer that your pension was charity! That would be better than forcing the taxpayers to fund your salary for sitting around for 90% of the time for services only 1 in 10,000 need or want! Now, the tax payers have to foot the bill for you to sit around for the rest of your life!

Braves, Beat the Fish!

his/ her cohorts, I will be only to happy that he/she is there when needed. I doubt most of the taxpayers feel as you do. I, for one, would not want to depend on that larger hose if my house was burning, or if I was trapped and needed to be rescued. Everyone either by desire or necessity choses the job they do. I for one appreciate all firemen and policemen. I may not always agree with them but I darn sure appreciate them. They are always there when you need them--and I don't really think they are sitting around 90 % of the time, but if they are that is okay with me as long as they show up when needed. They did not hold a gun to anyone's head to get the benefits they get. There are not that many other jobs where you put your life on the line time after time. Every fire may not be life threatening but you never know what is going to happen. So kudos, to those that protect us.

defense of his/her pension. Even though BHH sometimes shows that part of his/her anatomy that we would rather not see, I still defend the pensions. On the other hand, the remarks regarding bus transportation for students in one of those times that the anatomy is bared. For one, if I am not mistaken, bus transportation is part of the school taxes. Even though I have not had children in a school system in many moons, I feel bus transportation is a necessity. Things are not as they were thirty or even twenty years ago. Especially with day light savings time it is not safe for children to be on the roads--and many areas do not have sidewalks. I have a suggestion: Maybe the fire personnel who are not on call can patrol each and every corner in PTC to make sure that our children get to school safely. Silly, yes, but so are some of BHH's remarks. Also, would like to know where his/her children went to school and if they walked.

BHH's picture

Stop putting them off on others.

User fees do have a place.

pyramidman

BHH's picture

I said, not my problem, not with my taxes, no net effect on education.

The school system is failing.

Dire times call for desperate measures.

I've not been mean spirited.

Only realistic.

Sometimes you have to cut a fire breaker to stop the fire.

Stomping out a few hot spot just won't get it.

Parents are such pansies.

Someone has to make the tough decisions for them.

pyramidman

We pay lots of people to "sit around," as you say. Maybe even 90% of the time.
That is not the question!

How many should we pay to do that? That is the question!

We have maybe a million military in uniform and another two million serving them not in uniform. Contractors alone were maybe a million at one time recently.

Without that 10% when they do risk their life, we would be hurting.

PTC Observer's picture

are you trying to drag me into this crazy dialog?

Go watch your favorite sports team, do what you do best.

him a big dollop of Luddy and the gang! Anyway, can't fault a Ninja for trying! Have a good evening in your box seat!

Down
With
The
Fish

PTC Observer's picture

Right behind home plate, but in NYC today.

school traffic is at the same time as commuter traffic..you must get to sit home & eat bon bons all day while most everyone else has to get to work

BHH's picture

I mostly do what I choose.

There would be nothing wrong with a little more creative thinking in all of government and business for that matter.

I can remember when there were no all night convenience stores. Now there's one on every corner.

Hard time require hard solutions.

pyramidman

So, BHH, what are YOUR creative ideas for fixing the budget problems in the schools, so that parents can continue to work and children can continue to get educated?

BHH's picture

Apparently you are not reading and comprehending very well.

Now read comments #1, #2, #4, #5, and #7.

Open your mind.

I'm obligated to help provide basic education for your children and that's all.

The other needs you have to provide for yourself and your own children.

Stop dumping it on me.

If your lifestyle has to change while raising your children, then so be it.

Learn to network and solve your own problems and needs.

Do I have to take you and your children by the hand and walk you through this life?

pyramidman

I can quite easily get my children to and from school and by God, if it weren't for ignorant people like you, I would actually let them walk as we live close enough. However, I don't trust the drivers on the highways that they would have to cross. By the way, how did you or your kiddos get to school?

BHH's picture

and you had some friends, I'd bet they would assist you with your kids getting to school.

It's really no great feat to work out.

Try it. Your kids just might benefit from the experience and not be exposed to undesirable things that happen on the buses.

There is danger and risks in every aspect of life.

They may as well get use to it sooner than later.

Good luck.

pyramidman

Your Mama may have let you play in traffic, which I guess explains your irrational thinking of getting rid of the buses, but I care too much for my children to let them cross a major highway with cars ignoring speed zones.

And yes, I have plenty of friends who could "assist" me in getting them to school but their children are already on the bus.

The Wedge's picture

[quote=heatjam]Your Mama may have let you play in traffic, which I guess explains your irrational thinking of getting rid of the buses, but I care too much for my children to let them cross a major highway with cars ignoring speed zones.[/quote]
Not to throw in my support for BHH's proposal, but I have seen it before and personally survived it. During the 1985-1986 school year in my school district up north, a levy failed and the Municipal school system eliminated busing for the entire school year. Did it suck? yep; but did we survive it? yep. It did force our parents to approve the levy the following year so it was a hardball play by the BOE. Personally, eliminating busing will not affect my family one bit, but all options should be considered to come up with a budget that makes ends meet, not just busing as the first solution.

BHH's picture

buy and operate your own bus.

I'm sure all your friends would chip in with you.

pyramidman

on this thread has succeeded.

BHH's picture

Let them pack a lunch.

Turn off the gas.

Instant savings.

No net effect on the children's education.

pyramidman

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