Coweta County School Board Approves Budget for 2019-20 School Year
From Special Reports
The Coweta County Board of Education approved a fiscal 2020 budget of $222 million.
The approved FY 2020 budget provides a raise to school system employees, and does not project an increase in local property tax rates. The Board of Education has maintained an 18.59 mill property tax rate since first setting it in the summer of 2004.
The board voted 6-1 to approve the new year’s budget. Information detailing revenues and expenditures in the school system’s FY 2020 budget can be found on the school system’s website here.
This was the second formal vote on the new year’s budget. It followed tentative approval on June 11, and two public budget workshops held by the school board on May 21 and on May 28.
The school system operates on a fiscal year that extends from July 1 until June 30 of the following year. The budget covers school system operations and other expenditures during that upcoming fiscal year. It is based on revenue estimates including anticipated state educational funding for the upcoming year and anticipated local property tax revenue.
The FY 2020 budget approved Tuesday achieves several goals of the school board, including:
- Maintaining the current student calendar of 180 instructional days, and maintaining the current instructional program for students.
- Providing a raise of $3,000 for employees paid on the school system’s certified schedule.
- Providing a 2.5 percent increase in pay for employees paid on the classified schedule.
- Providing step increases for certified and classified employees, where due.
- Fully funding an increase in the school system’s contributions to the state Teacher Retirement System.
- Adding additional teaching positions system-wide, and providing an increase in the school system’s matching contributions to the Communities In Schools program, among other items.
The FY 2020 General Fund budget of $222 million is funded principally by state revenues and local property tax revenues. The budget approved Tuesday anticipates an overall increase in state funding during the coming fiscal year, and maintenance of the current 18.59 mill local property tax rate with 4.5 percent in anticipated growth in the local tax digest. The General Fund budget includes the largest portion of funding for instruction and pupil services, maintenance and operation of schools, transportation, and other operational costs.
In addition to the General Fund, there were three other components approved by the board as a part of its total FY 2020 budget.
These include $23,781,755 in expenditures from Special Revenue Funds, which accounts for special federal programs such as Title I, federal lunch programs, and IDEA.
Also included is $55,830,444 in expenditures from Capital Projects Funds, which accounts for construction and other capital expenditures during the year. School construction is funded principally by Educational Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (ESPLOST) revenues. The system also receives some state funding for construction.
Since the school system retired all outstanding bonds in 2013, no expenditures are required in the system’s Debt Service fund in FY 2020.
Those funds, combined with operations funds, total $301,985,617. The new fiscal year’s budget will take effect on July 1.
In addition to the FY2020 budget, the Board of Education also approved an amended FY2019 school system budget of $216,963,215 ($288,797,793 total) for the closing of the current fiscal year.
To see more budget information presented at the school system’s two public budget workshops preceding Tuesday’s vote, go here. (www.cowetaschools.net, under “Budget, Financial and SPLOST Information). The page provides links to current FY2020 revenue and expenditure detail, and also includes several years of school system budget information, millage history, tax digest information, school system annual audit reports and annual ESPLOST reports.