Bartow Schools Mull Spending Resolution
The move would enable the school system to continue to expend funds before the fiscal year 2013 budget is approved.
For the first time in at least six years, the Bartow County School System will start off the new fiscal year without an approved budget.
The board is expected to vote next week on a spending resolution, which would enable the school system to make expenditures and payroll after July 1 from the fiscal year 2013 budget before it is officially adopted by the Board of Education.
“I know there are other school systems that are currently undergoing spending resolutions this year,” Chief Financial Officer Todd Hooper said.
Hooper said the school system has yet to receive its allotment sheet from the state.
“We’ve gotten preliminary numbers from them but we haven’t gotten the final allotment sheet yet,” he said. “I wouldn’t expect there to be a major change, but there still could be some changes.”
In addition, Hooper said his office is waiting on final numbers from the local tax assessor’s office before it can finalize revenues for a final budget. Figures from the tax digest will determine if the millage rate will need to be increased, something that has been brought up in prior meetings.
“In order for us to give the citizens of the county the best information that we can get, we feel like we have to wait on that information so we can put together the very best budget.”
The school system’s millage rate currently is set at 17.9, where it has remained for at least the last four years. The maximum rate the Board of Education can set is 20 mills. One mill brings in $2 million in revenue, and raising the rate to 20 mills would generate $4.2 million in additional funds.
“Usually, those go hand-in-hand, but we’ll just have to wait and see,” Hooper said.
The board also is expected to vote next week on a charter for the Bartow County College and Career Academy. The school will be a public school but set up as an autonomous, not-for-profit corporation.
“So, it’s separate, but it works with the county school system,” said Rick Kolhoff, a member of the committee tasked with creating the school’s charter.
The academy will have a seven-member Board of Directors appointed by various stakeholders, such as Superintendent John Harper, high school principals, the Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce and the Cartersville-Bartow County Joint Development Authority. The school system hopes to open the academy for the 2013-2014 school year.