McDONOUGH — The Henry County Board of Education unanimously approved the fiscal year 2020 budget Monday evening.
All board members expressed that the balanced budget includes an increase in compensation for all employees in the district.
“Thank you for finding every little penny,” said board member Pam Nutt. “We’ve left no one out, and everyone is going to benefit.”
“I’m very impressed with this budget,” said Annette Edwards.
Both Holly Cobb and Josh Hinton said they were excited to pass a budget that included everyone.
“We’ve touched every single employee,” Hinton said.
“(Employees) are crucial to what we do, and I’m glad to provide the raises we were hoping to give,” Cobb said.
“This shows we are investing in our employees,” said Sophe Pope.
The $407.1 million budget raises are:
♦ School-based classified employees — 3% salary increase and the State Teacher Salary Schedule increase when applicable;
♦ District certified teachers — $3,000 as well an applicable STEP increase;
♦ District administration — 2% salary increase; and
♦ A supplement is included in the budget to assist with maintaining certain exceptional student education paraprofessionals.
Additionally, the fiscal year 2020 budget includes funding for 17 personnel for anticipated student growth and instructional and personalized learning. The Academy for Advanced Studies will receive 7.5 positions. The district will also hire a manager and technician for the new Performing Arts Center.
The fund balance is projected to be $52.5 million or 13% of operating expenditures at the end of fiscal year 2020.
Chief Financial Officer Christy Willis noted a revenue increase of $23 million in 2020, due to a 5.67% increase in the tax digest.
In July, the board is expected to adopt the district’s millage rate, which Willis said will remain the same. The current millage rate is 20 mills, the most allowed by law.
By maintaining the same rate with an increased tax digest, the school system will collect more funds. Property owners whose assessed property values have increased will likely see an increase in school taxes despite the millage remaining the same.
The district will announce the millage rate in public hearings in July.