0

DCSS board to take up budget today

Dougherty County School System interim Superintendent Butch Mosely, right, and board member Darrel Ealum read documents during a finance committee meeting Tuesday. The district’s proposed FY ’14 budget will go before the full board today for approval.

Dougherty County School System interim Superintendent Butch Mosely, right, and board member Darrel Ealum read documents during a finance committee meeting Tuesday. The district’s proposed FY ’14 budget will go before the full board today for approval.

ALBANY, Ga. -- The Dougherty County School System Finance Committee on Tuesday approved sending a $206 million Fiscal year 2014 budget to the full board to be voted on today.

The proposed budget includes $1.2 million from the general fund which will be used to reduce the number of adjusted staff workdays (or furloughs) from the current six to four days.

The budget also includes an additional $1,054,251 for Albany Early College. The system was forced to draw that money from its $9 million reserve fund after learning earlier this year that Federal Title I funds cannot be used to pay for the program.

The reserve fund balance for the system that is anticipated for the June 30 end of the current FY 2013 is $9.98 million. System officials expect to use of $3.3 million from reserve funds in FY '14, which is expected to reduce the fund balance to $7.6 million.

"We will be making serious efforts to limit spending in the upcoming year," DCSS Interim Superintendent Butch Mosely said. "We've got to make our people more aware of our (financial) situation."

Tucked into the proposed budget is $16,500 for a potential stipend raise for School Board members. The money, Dyer said, is budgeted for one quarter (three months) and would only be used if the board were to approve increasing its stipend from the current monthly allotment of $250.

While a specific number has not yet come up for board discussion, Dyer said he used $1,000 a month for each of the seven members for budgetary considerations.

"There is no doubt that the board stipends are too small," Finance Committee Chair James Bush said. "I know one (school board) who had to clock out of work to attend meetings. They stayed all day and earned no income and that is not fair. The stipend we have now is antiquated and needs to be changed.

"Let's take it before the whole board and talk about it."