CCSD releases 2012-13 budget cuts
By RADFORD BROSIUS – Graphics and Design Manager
The Clarke County School District budget cuts for the 2012-13 fiscal year decrease the budget by more than $7 million.
The Clarke County School District will be implementing budget cuts for the 2012-13 fiscal year that are needed in order to make the district function properly. A meeting will be held in June to make the final decision on what will be reduced from the budget.
The Clarke County School District must cut over $8 million from the budget of the 2012-13 fiscal year in order for the district to function with rising employee insurance and retirement costs. Image courtesy of CCSD. Read the full budget here.
The target budget, how much it will cost to run the district for the school year, for the 2012-13 fiscal year is $117 million. However, the projected revenue is $110 million, meaning the district must cut a minimum of $7 million in order to ensure that the district can handle any unexpected costs.
CCSD Superintendent Dr. Phillip Lanoue is the facilitator for the budget cuts; he must propose the budget for the school board each year.
“Over the last several years, rolling out a budget for the CCSD that supports educational needs and programming has become increasingly difficult,” Lanoue said in an editorial for The Athens Banner Herald.
Overall revenue from the 2010-11 fiscal year to the 2011-12 fiscal year decreased, yet certain costs, such as insurance for employees and retirement funding, continue to increase.
Each year, the CCSD budget is developed based on how much revenue is generated from state and local taxes.
Clarke County is at the maximum millage rate, meaning that the amount of property taxes that property owners pay is the highest allowed. The millage rate varies from state to state, with Georgia having a two percent maximum.
The housing market has been affected negatively in the recent recession, causing the property values to decrease. Property owners are a large part of the school district’s revenue, with local revenue bringing in $64 million and state bringing in a smaller $46 million.
The state has received less total revenue, because of the closing of many Georgia businesses. This year state government took in $46 million, whereas in the previous fiscal year they took in $49 million.
In order to carry out the required budget cuts a total of 115 jobs are being cut, and only 11.5 added.
The district has also decided to move from three to five furlough days. While students get these school days off, teachers will receive a full five days less of pay. Those five days of pay for each teacher saves the district a total of $870,000.
The job cuts are coming from many different areas. There will be 32 first grade paraprofessionals cut, as well as 16 media center paraprofessionals and 10 Career Technical Agriculture Education positions and many others from various departments.
“I certainly understand why Dr. Lanoue has proposed the budget he has proposed. It would be foolish of him to propose a budget that would put us in bankruptcy. He can’t do that. It would be irresponsible,” Clarke Central High School English department head Ian Altman said.
Yet Altman understands there are other factors affecting the Superintendent’s decision.
“I don’t blame him for proposing this budget, I think that ultimately what we’re dealing with is a political problem, not having anything to do with the district’s budget or policy or administration ,” Altman said. “I think they’re doing the best they can with what they’ve got.”
The jobs being added will require the district to spend more money, but eight of these 11.5 jobs are “unanticipated,” meaning that if there are any vacancies that could not have been foreseen, these eight position are what will be needed to fill them.
“While the 2012-13 budget is not one that I am pleased to present, it will keep our system intact as we work to eliminate the revenue and spending gap. Most importantly, it is one that will continue supporting the students of this community and prepare them for successful futures,” Lanoue said.
More from Radford Brosius