The Board of Education has their FY2020 budget in place. 

The budget was approved at their June 17 meeting. The total number comes in at $229,454,060, an increase of $16.8 million from last year. 

The biggest chunk of expenditures go towards salaries and benefits at 89.41 percent, with 63.5 percent going towards salaries.

The budget will leave a projected fund balance of $29.5 million, exceeding the required $22.9 million.

Superintendent Dr. Jody Barrow noted that staff has built in a millage rate reduction, and they also hope to be able to do a slight bond millage rate reduction as well, but those numbers cannot be finalized yet. 

“We need to move forward with the adoption of the budget, so we can prepare for purchases over the summer,” said Barrow.

The budget was approved 3-1, with Dr. Barry Marchman in opposition. 

At the May 20 meeting, Marchman said he would be voting against the proposed budget because he questioned the need for the budget to keep rising while enrollment is not up and an ESPLOST is in place.

“I don’t feel like we have a right to keep taking just a little bit more of the family budget without a clear explanation of why we’re asking for their greater sacrifice,” he said at the May 20 meeting. “I would not vote for a budget that requires us to take more of our taxpayers’ hard earned resources.”