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Fayette BoE begins in the hole for next budget

Students are still savoring the last days of summer vacation, but the Fayette County Board of Education is already hitting the books for the following year — the financial books.

At the Aug. 1 work session, board members will begin grappling with expected tight revenues and deciding what cuts have to be made to balance the budget for the 2012-2013 school year.

Superintendent Jeff Bearden will be presenting ideas to increase school system revenues and decrease expenditures in the face of falling revenues and rising expenses. The Aug. 1 work session will mark a return to the Monday meetings traditionally held by the school board for decades prior to the change to Tuesday nights two years ago.

The current 2011-2012 General Fund budget carries revenues of $170.2 million and expenditures of $186.66 million, a shortfall of $16.4 million. The school board’s budget adoption in June included the use of $16.4 million of the approximately $25 million in the fund balance to make up the difference and balance the budget for the 2011-2012 school year that begins Aug. 8. That will leave approximately $9 million in the fund balance a year from now. And that is the potential problem.

All things remaining equal to the 2010-2011 school year, either revenues will have to increase substantially or expenses will have to decrease substantially to counteract what would amount to a depleted fund balance with millions more needed to balance the 2012-2013 budget, and with no place left to find the funds other than through cuts that the central office and the school board have yet to contemplate.

And that is where Bearden’s beginning presentation comes in on Aug. 1. Some on the board during the budget process noted the impending fiscal shortfall and subsequently asked Bearden to address possible solutions beginning this summer so that any needed alterations could be accomplished well in advance of the next school year that begins in August 2012.

The school board beginning in August will go back to having work sessions and regular sessions on Monday nights. Work sessions, if needed, will be held on the first Monday of the month while regular meetings are scheduled for the third Monday.



Gene61's picture

Question to the BOE, what would be the total saving if you went back to the formual of starting school after Labor day, instead of in Aug ?

Also, more enforcement when it comes to out of county students. Look at the county tags you see in the morning, hint. Also the illegals students who we pay to educate, who parents in the end contribute zero to our tax base.

The fuel savings alone for the buses would be worth it,. Plus it would give more time for families to extend vacs etc.

Just a thought..

That's what it is----"just a thought!"

The August start-up is for administrators and teachers----not kids and parents!

They get tons of time off doing it their way.

Working Mother's are really strained! Can't plan any way out.

The early in---late out, also is detrimental to everyone. Latch key kids.

Schools need a holding area before and after school. Schools are for families not teachers and administrators!

Mark the date -- I'm actually agreeing with roundabout! I'm <em>nearly</em> speechless!

cogitoergofay's picture

Roundabout is frequently correct ! Amidst the comments are frequent instances of humor that cause some of us to react like the AFLAC duck. Often times, he/she "hits the nail on the head".

I have been meaning to write a post on just this same subject! Thanks for taking care of it for me so I can devote more time to dispelling Austrian economics and commenting on the Braves!

Danke Schön!

Veritas's picture

Last time I checked teachers , administrators and staff were parents and had families. Your point/argument is baseless

See budget at

Transportation is $8M out of $186M. Even reducing 10% only saves $800k. When school starts does not really affect budget except some energy savings because the students have to be there 180 days either way. The real money in the budget is in Instruction $127M which is teachers in front of the class. With decling student population the only way to reduce the expenditures is to pay fewer teachers, pay teachers less, or reduce benefits. (This is not a comment on the appropriateness of their current pay only on the fact that payroll and benefits are the largest number in the budget). It seems that you can only achieve that by consolidating the under utilitized schools at the elementary and middle school level. That would save some admin cost as well. Bottom line is with reduced revenue from the state and property taxes you have to cut positions. Running off out of county kids does save cost but also reduces revenues from the state based on enrollment levels so the savings is probably only half at best.

BHH's picture

accommodate an over flow of students (Spalding).

Why can't Fayette county contract education services to other counties while we have an abundance of space and teachers?

It's done in other areas of government services.

Atlanta Public Schools may also temporarily be in need soon.


BHH's picture

to the produce transporters to haul watermelons during the summer months and recoup some of the costs.


BHH's picture

$10 to $50 per day per child is a good starting point.

That's cheap child care.

We set it up as a utility service and have it added to your water bills or something like that.

Hey, that's the ticket.

I'm a dad gum genius.


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