A vote on the Hall County School District budget for Fiscal Year 2022 won't happen until June 28, but District Superintendent Will Schofield unveiled the spending plan to the public Monday afternoon.
Schofield also released a video earlier in the day, sharing what he said is good news for taxpayers, while at the same time issuing words of caution about the additional $21 million in revenue that the district will have to work with in the new year. The allocation is coming from CARES III funding.
"There is $21 million, and this is temporary money that will be an increase to our revenues in this year's General Fund," Schofield said. "We are going to be very careful not to make the mistake of putting mechanisms or salary increases in place that we cannot sustain with this temporary money. We're going to use it as it was intended and that is to try to mitigate the learning loss that our students have certainly experienced due to the pandemic."
Schofield said he and the school board also want to see CARES funding used for programs to help with increased mental health issues students have experienced during the ongoing pandemic.
Highlights of the budget include:
- An increase by $21M due to temporary federal CARES funding.
- The General Fund Millage Rate will be decreased by approximately 1.2 mills.
- As was discussed with the 10 Year-Facility Plan and the bonds sold for that purpose, a .5 mil will be levied to pay for bond indebtedness.
- A net result of .7 lower total millage rate for the community and its stakeholders.
I. A significant increase in trauma/mental health funding due to the post-pandemic status of many of our students.
II. A significant increase in academic support to help mitigate learning loss of students due to the pandemic.
III. An increase in pay rates for all HCSD team members as they return from the pandemic (amount to be determined prior to the budget adoption).
Public hearings on the budget are scheduled on June 14 and June 21 at 5 p.m. at the district's central office on Green Street.
Those documents include an FY22 Budget Summary, FY22 Budget Details, and the CARES III Budget. The final budget and millage rate will be adopted on June 28, 2021 at the district’s regular board meeting.
Follow this link to read details of the budget and to see the video released by Will Schofield.