In a split decision, the Gordon County Board of Education approved a millage rate of
19.053, a 0.119 drop from 19.172 in 2019 and a 0.947 drop from 2016’s rate of 20.
But some board members felt the rollback wasn’t enough.
“How much is enough in the bank?” asked Eddie Hall, board member.
According to Superintendent Kim Fraker, the system has enough reserve fund to operate the school system for 3.5 months or about $16.88 million.
“We’re building on the back of the tax payers,” said Hall.
Fraker pointed out that looking back on the 2016-2017 budget, the school system was forced to furlough employees during the recession. She wasn’t the superintendent at the time.
“I don’t want to have to do that again,” she said. “I don’t think having 3.5 months in revenue is bad. We aren’t the lowest or the highest.”
She said the system needs $15.5 million to run the system for three months and $20.5 for four months.
“In this year of uncertainty I’m not sure we should lower it more until things settle down,” she said, pointing out that some repairs and improvements have been sidelined until the economy is more stable.
With budget uncertainties due to COVID-19 and a decrease in enrollment to 6,338 from 6,593, a difference of 255.
According to Mendy Goble, the executive director of finance for the system, the economic impact of enrollment is delayed and will be felt in two years.
“I’m not criticizing the budget,” said Hall, “but can we go lower?”
Hall and Kacee Smith voted against the rollback while Chris Johnson, Dana Stewart, Jason Hendrix, and Bobby Hall approved the rollback.
In other board news, the board:
- Approved local board training plan for FY21 and FY 20.
- Approved Perkins Program Improvement Fund FY20-21.
- Approved request of proposal for a 2020-9- Ford Van XL-250.
- Approved memorandum of understanding with Georgia Head Start Program
- Approved two year contract extension for waste services.
- A first reading to update the Equal Opportunity Employment, Sexual Harassment of Employees, Equal Education Opportunities, and Sexual Harrassment of Students after some changes in the language in the policies.
- Announced the end of the sixth week grading period on September 22.
- Announced Charter System Training for September 30 and October 1.
- Announced fall break would be October 5-6.
- Announced the next regular board meeting for October 12.