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Clayton BOE to hear from officials on finances, SACS

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

With Thanksgiving only a few days away, the Clayton County Board of Education can expect servings of financial and accreditation discussions on its plate when the board meets tonight for its November work session.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m., at the school system's central administration complex, 1058 Fifth Ave., in Jonesboro.

On Friday, District Spokesman Charles White did not elaborate on the system's financial situation during a discussion with a reporter as to what to expect at the meeting. But, White did say a "very frank report" on future finances would be delivered to board members by district officials. Further details on the report will be released by the district before the meeting begins, White said.

In October, school system leaders told board members to expect a surplus of $55.9 million at the end of the current fiscal year ending next summer, approximately $15 million higher than previously anticipated by district officials. Much of that money will be redirected to offset cuts in state funding.

For the past few years, the district's finance department has been warning the school board to anticipate a significant loss of tax revenue in late 2009 when car rental agencies at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport move from Clayton County, to a new facility in Fulton County. Also, there is uncertainty as the recession facing the nation drags on.

In addition to the report on the financial outlook, the board will deal with the district's mid-year budget adjustments; the monthly purchasing and finance reports, and the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) III revenue report.

District officials will give a "Where are we?" report to the board on regaining the system's Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) accreditation.

Other reports will come from the human resources and operations departments, the geographic information system, and testing officials will present data involving the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS).

The board will also review resolutions sshowing that recent construction projects at Jonesboro High School and M.D. Roberts Middle School are fully paid for.

School system general counsel Julie Lewis will present information on revisions to the board's policies that deal with public participation, and the delivery of board materials.