BOE expected to adopt tentative budget next month

McDONOUGH — Henry County school officials told the Board of Education on Monday they expect to offer a balanced fiscal year 2020 budget that contains “compensation” for all district employees.

The BOE is expected to adopt a tentative budget on April 8 with adoption of the final budget on May 13 with two community budget hearings in between.

Chief Financial Officer Christy Willis said with “reasonable estimations” revenue from property tax and the title ad valorem tax (formerly known as the birthday tax) will increase by $4.4 million.

She noted though, that while the county’s tax digest is steadily increasing, the 2020 digest is comparable to the 2009 digest.

“During the recession we lost 36 percent of our tax digest,” she said. “We are seeing a slower growth rate, and we believe this may be the trend in the future.”

The school district is expected to receive an estimated additional $9.3 million from the state to increase teacher pay. All totaled, Willis said the school district will receive $12.6 million in additional funds in 2020. However, it’s going to cost $14.4 million to give all employees a raise.

To cover the $1.8 million gap, Superintendent Mary Elizabeth Davis said it’s going to require officials to “address some of our historical spending to bring a balanced budget.”

The school district receives funding from three main sources: local (39 percent), state (60 percent) and federal (1 percent).

The fiscal year 2020 budget is divided in four categories where monies are spent:

Teaching and learning — 83.5 percent

Maintenance and operations — 9 percent

Transportation — 5 percent

Support services — 2.5 percent

For more information, or to view budget documents, visit

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Education reporter Heather Middleton joined the Clayton News and Henry Herald in 2002.