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Budget advisory committee meets

JONESBORO — Clayton County Public Schools kicked off its budget season with the first meeting of its citizens advisory committee Thursday.

The committee, made up of citizens who were nominated by members of the school board, is invited to provide input to finance officials as they compile next year’s budget.

Business Services Director Lonita Collier said the committee provides valuable input on school budgets.

“They actually get to be a part of the process,” said Collier.

This year’s group includes individuals nominated by six of the district’s nine board members.

Chairman Dr. Pam Adamson nominated Hershel Trawick of Hampton to represent District 1. District 3 board member Jessie Goree appointed Catherine Jones of Riverdale.

Mary Baker of District 6 nominated Jonesboro resident Andre Wilson. District 7’s Judy Johnson designated Don Hulon of Morrow to serve on the committee.

Dr. Alieka Anderson nominated Grandvial Quick of Rex to be a citizen advisor for District 8. Jai Williams, also of Rex, was tapped by District 9 board member Charlton Bivins to serve.

There were no nominations by District 2’s Mark Christmas, District 4’s Michael King and District 5’s Ophelia Burroughs, according to district documents.

Collier expects the committee will discuss issues on local tax digest and pay for school employees.

“[Pay] that’s usually an issue,” she said.

There have been no raises or step increases this year for the district’s roughly 5,000 employees and have not been for at least the past five years.

Collier said the district last imposed unpaid furlough days during the 2011-12 school year to account for reduced local tax revenues. She said furloughs are not a consideration for this year and are not anticipated for next year.

The budgeting process likely will be as challenging as the last with the new one-time “tag tax” that takes effect this year, she said.

The committee will meet again March 21 and April 18.