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Monday August 31st, 2015 6:50AM

Hall Co. BOE gives tentative approval to budget

By Alyson Shields Reporter
GAINESVILLE - The Hall County School Board gave tentative approval for a budget for the 2015 school year that included raises for teachers and local and district leaders.

Lee Lovett broke down the budget, which increased by about $3 million because of an update in revenue. A mid-term adjustment of half a million dollars was also added in. The total, tentative amount in the general fund is $222,364,396.00, while the total tentative budget is $297,122,528.00.

Public hearings for the meetings will take place on June 9 and June 23.

Superintendent Will Schofield said this was the most positive budget he'd seen in six years.

"It's the first budget in six years that we haven't had to just significantly cut from the year before. The fact that we have 20 more teachers in classrooms, that everybody [working] in the district is going to see a pay raise next year and that tax payers are going to see a millage rate decrease, that is a good budget year."

The millage rate for the tentative budget was set at 18.9.

The raises for district employees breaks down as follows: $1.9 million for classroom instructors, $280 thousand for personnel, $115 thousand for school-level leadership and $35 thousand for district leadership. Everyone will also see an additional four days of compensation, which is roughly $3.2 million. 20 additional teachers have been hired for $1.65 million.

Additional revenue includes tag tax revenue, which brings in about $1 million. Changes of note included workers compensation, which was adjusted after a previous cut left the county with too little, as they self-insured; contract HVAC systems were increased to include technicians and filter repair contractors; and lastly, money was added to supplies to assist with eLearning supplies.

Also at the Monday night meeting, the Board discussed a partnership with the North Georgia Heart Foundation to help teach CPR in county schools and approved field trips for the upcoming year, CTAE grants, bids for service and SPLOST requests.

Schofield also pointed out that FDA regulations on school lunches will have minimal effects on county schools, as they made many changes similar to the regulations two years ago.

Lastly, Nath Morris noted that the primary election date had changed from the time the school calendar was made for the current school year, so some polling places in the county will have classes going on during election day.
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