Dougherty Schools Finance Committee sends FY 2015 budget to full School Board

Proposed FY 2015 budget to be discussed at a called School Board meeting Thursday

ALBANY — The Dougherty County School System’s Finance Committee on Tuesday approved sending a tentative Fiscal Year 2015 budget for review by the full School Board. The board will hold a called meeting at 10 a.m. Thursday to discuss the proposed $120 million spending plan.

The proposed budget addresses a shortfall of $7 million by cutting some programs, eliminating two of four staff furlough days and drawing on more than $600,000 from the system’s reserves.

Dougherty School System Superintendent Butch Mosely said copies of the proposed budget would be available during the called work session and that questions or comments from the public would not be allowed during the meeting. He stressed, however, that he and his staff would be available to the media and public after the session to discuss concerns or questions about the spending blueprint.

“I think this is a good budget,” Mosely said. “And I think through a combination of creative thinking and his expertise, (DCSS Finance and Operations Director Ken Dyer) has given us a budget which will be well-received.”

The deadline for submitting the 2014-15 budget to the state is June 30. By law, the board must conduct two open meetings to gather input from the public before approving the final spending plan, which goes into effect July 1.

In other action, the committee also approved moving seven purchase order items before the board, including $73,000 for a Math Universal Screener for EIP (Early Intervention Program); $95, 459 for a new refrigerated truck and $598,000 for large kitchen equipment for Child Nutrition Services (CNS), and $372,000 for a new staff time and attendance system.

The committee also approved sending a transportation request for 12 new school buses to the board. Seven of the buses will be paid for through a state bond issue and the remaining five will be paid through a special-purpose local-option sales tax allocation.