Troup County School Board approves budget for upcoming school year

Published 8:45 am Thursday, June 22, 2023

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Last week, the Troup County School Board approved its proposed budget for the 2023-2024 fiscal year.

Brandon Brooks, TCSS board chairman, said budget communications are always difficult, but he is pleased with the budget that was passed.

“Our strategic plan is based on the goals and the mission of the school system, and I think our budget aligns with those goals and mission statements,” Brooks said. “I’m really excited about the 2023-2024 school year.”

TCSS is budgeted to bring in $143,862,369 in revenue, an increase of $14,399,981 from the 2022-2023 budget. According to board documents, TCSS estimates an increase of $9,079,137 in state funding and an increase of $4,481,319 in local revenue.

In the 2022-2023 budget, TCSS’s expense budget was $143,862,369. The proposed 2023-2024 budget proposed an expense decrease of $73,320. A majority of that is increased health insurance rates, a $2,000 pay raise for teachers, position additions and operational increases.

The majority of the expenditures — $85,766,973 (59.6%) are projected to go directly to instruction — an increase of $8.8 million compared to the previous budget.

Maintenance and operations remain the second largest expense category at a budgeted cost of $15,670,070. However, compared to last year, that category has seen a reduction in cost of $544,141. School administration is the third highest expense at $10,922,616, a $1,090,257 increase from last year. Transportation totals out to $9,576,706 — 22.4 percent less than the $12,347,852 spent the year prior.

In January, the Troup County School Board voted to purchase weapons detections system and to hire security staff to man them. Funding for the weapons detection systems is a one-time expense and security staff additions have been incorporated within the proposed budget.

“The security of our campuses has been a challenge for us because it is so expensive to secure,” Brooks said. “I’m happy to say that the 2023-2024 budget has enabled us to secure every campus, not just high school, middle schools but our elementary schools to provide a school resource officer (SRO) with the implementation of metal detectors and the additional staff we have hired to work them.”

In budget documents from earlier in the Spring, Shumate said the $29.2 million provided by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), continues to provide additional support to schools in the system in both instructional and operational areas. However, he said the ARPA funds will be exhausted in the upcoming fiscal year and the approximate $5 million of positions supported by the grant will either have to be eliminated or absorbed by the general fund.