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School board adopts budget with $905,085 surplus built in

The Grady County Board of Education on Tuesday night adopted an operating budget for Fiscal Year 2010-2011 that includes a $905,085 revenue surplus if the school system can hold expenditures down to $28,023,261 through June 30, 2011.
Superintendent Dr. Tommy Pharis built the budget surplus into the budget by making substantial expenditure cuts in hope of being able to absorb highly anticipated state cuts to public education.
School officials also currently are paying the salaries of 14 teachers with federal stimulus dollars and those funds will be exhausted by next June.
“We went into the budget knowing we would have surplus. We really would like to have more because we have been told to expect additional state cuts,” Dr. Pharis said.
The school system will actually collect less ad valorem taxes this year compared to last if the board adopts a final millage rate of 12.9 mills. Board members voted unanimously to maintain the current millage rate of 12.9 mills.
That rate when applied to the county’s 2010 tax digest will generate $7,430,745, which is $198,170 less than last year or a decrease of 2.598 percent.
In January or later, school officials will evaluate the budget situation and are hopeful money for programs and personnel that have been eliminated or reduced can be added back to the budget.
Dr. Pharis and the board are particularly interested in restoring the full pay for school personnel that has been cut over the last two years.
The board will meet at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 29 to vote on the final millage rate adoption. Grady County Tax Commissioner Phyllis Gainous is scheduled to hand-deliver the tax digest to the Georgia Department of Revenue in Atlanta on Friday, July 30.

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