The Madison County school system ended the past fiscal year with $2.385 million more in reserves than originally anticipated.
School leaders originally foresaw $2.975 million in reserves, but ended the 2008 fiscal year with $5.36 million fund balance.
The extra cash could not come at a better time. Facing impending state funding cuts (Madison County expects to lose around $565,000 this year and approximately $750,000 to $800,000 next year) and a stagnant county tax digest, the hope is that the extra fund balance will absorb the lost revenue.
“We’re hoping that we have enough in that $5.3 million that we’re not going to have to raise taxes; we don’t have to cut people; we don’t have to make any major financial adjustments this year,” assistant superintendent Bonnie Knight said.
That surplus comes mainly through unanticipated tax collections.
The system had expected to accumulate $11.575 million in state and local taxes during the year but ended up taking in around $13 million. Knight said that’s probably the result of finally collecting some back taxes that were due to the school system.
“I believe we received more than one year,” Knight said.
Other main contributors to the reserve this past year were a $136,000 midterm increase in state funds and also $148,000 extra in equalization forward funds, which is a rarity.
While the extra money comes at an opportune time, it’s not the school system’s custom to hold this kind of reserve.
“It’s not our practice to try to gain over $2 million in a year,” Knight said.
Of course, the school system won’t know its full financial outlook until it has the county tax digest in hand and knows the exact percentage the state plans to cut from schools.
At that time, superintendent Dr. Mitch McGhee will present the school board with an amended 2008-2009 budget.
The key words in this article are, "Facing impending state funding cuts (Madison County expects to lose around $565,000 this year and approximately $750,000 to $800,000 next year)"
All you people who voted for Sonny Perdue, Ralph Hudgens, and the rest of the Republicans in GA state govt., this is what it got you - almost no state money for schools. Guess who pays? YOU DO. Want to know why your property taxes are so high? It's because you voted for Sonny Perdue, Ralph Hudgens and the rest of the "take money away from local rural schools" gang.
All is not lost, however. You can learn from your ways and throw these bums out. Hate to say it, but the Republican mantra is cut state taxes so the fat cats in Marietta and Lake Oconee can afford another vacation home or country club membership, leaving the poor local working folk like you and me to foot the bill.
I am with you !!!! We also need to get the state school board out too !!!! These are the ones making all our children stress over these STUPID test every year. And all this homework that is ridiculous !!!!!!!!