TCSS approves budget

Published 9:48 pm Friday, June 15, 2018

The Troup County School Board approved a $114 million operating budget for 2018-2019 at Thursday night’s meeting.

The operating budget is set at $114,154,768, which is an increase of $5,202,796 from the 2017-2018 budget. The budget lists total projected revenues at $108,954,768 and a total of deficit for the year of $5,200,000. The deficit will eat into the system’s $24 million in reserve, leaving a projected $18,800,000.

The system is currently above the state’s recommended reserve funding.

Most of the increased spending falls under instruction, which is seeing an increase of $2,355,124. Other areas of increase include maintenance and operations for $857,063, student transportation for $543,167 and school administration for $374,366.

The budget includes increased funding for the district’s priorities, which were determined in November 2017.

Those priorities include a culture focused on success, with the additional a focus on social and emotional health for 2018-2019; relevant and rigorous instruction, with a focus on mathematics for 2018-2019; and literacy.

Funding increases to focus on social and emotional health. Those increases include funding a third social worker for $60,000, social/emotional health curriculum materials for $37,000, social/emotional direct services for $20,000 and social worker supplies for $2,112.

Additional funding in the amount of $474,200 was also included for mathematics-specific enhancements. Included in the increased spending were an elementary math screener and middle school and high school math curriculum costs.

Enhancements for literacy spending totaled $655,271, including seven Early Intervention Program teachers, an elementary academic coach and middle school and high school Lexile materials.

Other increases include increased pay for school coaches, although it was clarified that the increase is mainly for head coaches and also includes academics. The budget includes $162,300 for extra days for coaches and $125,000 for extracurricular supplements.

“There is concern in Troup County that we don’t pay coaches enough to be competitive, so we both want to add extra days and extra supplements. There’s $162,000 for extra days, and there is a $125,000 for extra supplements,” said Superintendent Cole Pugh.

Also included in the budget is a 3 percent raise for classified staff, such as bus drivers, school custodians and computer tech specialists.

“The reason for that is local competition,” said Chief Financial Officer Byron Jones. “A lot of our workforce is getting attracted by obvious vendors that are moving into town, and we are not able to be competitive on that.”

The school system will have a public hearing for the proposed Troup County Schools millage rate for calendar year 2018 at 10 a.m. and at 6 p.m. at 100 North Davis Road, building C. TCSS is not proposing an increase to the current millage rate of 18.85.