The Thomaston-Upson Board of Education approved the fiscal year 2014 General Fund budget at their Monday night meeting. Board member Steve Sadler was absent.
The budget of $31.4 million is $863,000 over the fiscal year 2013 budget. The school system is only increasing expenditure line items for growth, instructional requirements, and critical needs.
The school system is expecting to receive $20.6 million from QBE, which is 68 percent of the proposed budget. Property tax millage will remain the same as last year at 15.3 mills, which is expected to generate $9 million, or 30 percent of the budget. The remaining two percent will come from other federal and state funding, other taxes, and approximately $600,000 out of the system’s fund balance.
On the expense side, salary and benefits for school system employees account for $28 million, with health insurance costs continuing to rise. Of the remaining $3.2 million, half of that is spent on fuel costs to transport students, and the utilities of the school facilities.
Also at the BOE meeting, resident Bill Chapman asked that the board look into taking the school system’s portion of property taxes off of elderly residents. Chapman said that he is 84 years old and has already paid for his kids to go through school. He noted that there are counties that exempt residents when they turn 65 from paying school taxes, and asked why Upson County could not do the same.
School Superintendent Dr. Maggie Shook told Chapman and the board that she would look into the issue and report back to them at their July meeting.