BOE looks for final budget input

JONESBORO — The Clayton County Board of Education is taking final steps bound for its fiscal year 2014 budget.

The governing body was expected to vote on a tentative budget of $352 million during its work session Tuesday evening, after the Clayton News Daily press deadlines.

The board has been reviewing budget recommendations by Superintendent Luvenia Jackson for about a month. She proposed giving a one-time, 1-percent bonus to all school employees next year.

Business services director Lonita Collier said the option is the result of $11.37 million more in unexpected revenues for FY14.

She said the district received a $1 million adjustment to the state’s quality basic education formula and an $8.8 million increase in equalization grant funding. However, she warned there would be deficit spending even with the surplus in anticipated revenues.

There were two other budget options for the board to consider, including an option in which there would be no changes in how revenues are spent. The district would continue operations without pay raises, furloughs or layoffs. A third option is to give 1-percent recurring pay raises to employees.

Board members scheduled four public hearings on the budget proposals, two held earlier this month and two more to be held next week.

Spokesman David Waller said that, even if any of the options passes as a tentative budget plan, citizens will have opportunities to voice their opinions at the upcoming hearings.

The hearings are set for Monday at 11 a.m. and at 5:30 p.m. Participants are asked to sign up before the hearings. A sign-up sheet will be available 30 minutes prior at 1058 Fifth Ave. in Jonesboro.

The board plans to adopt a final budget at its June 24 work session.