School board reviews $6.3 million in mid-year budget adjustments

JONESBORO — The Clayton County Board of Education is considering several mid-year budget adjustments totaling millions.

Chief Financial Officer Ken Thompson said the board’s general fund expenditures need to be increased by roughly $6.3 million to cover costs the district has and will incur this school year and next.

Thompson’s recommendation means the board’s projected savings would decrease by that amount as well.

He provided board members a revised multi-year projection this week during their study session. The projections comprise recurring expenses and converts many of this year’s adjustments to annual expenditures.

Adjustments include the $91,251 spent on the board’s ESPLOST special election in November, according to district data.

Thompson said other proposed modifications comprise an additional $21,578 for security at the S. Truett Cathy Professional Learning Center, $60,000 for employees’ overtime pay and $80,000 for fingerprinting services provided by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which would be recurring costs.

About $10,000 pays for professional development training for the district’s advanced placement teachers. Another $10,000 is earmarked to purchase physical education equipment at two of the district’s charter middle schools.

Revenues would be added for the district’s new Fine Arts Magnet High School and Career, Technical and Agricultural Education programs, according to the proposed adjustments.

There was about $1.1 million added to fund materials, supplies and equipment as well as the salaries for the new principal and media specialist at the magnet school. The salaries will be recurring expenses.

Thompson said the district must form a supervisory position for its Career, Technical and Agricultural Education program, which should cost the board $20,416 in an annual stipend.

An additional $3.1 million is aimed at purchasing next year’s textbooks.

Officials have indicated they want to get a jump on the purchases before the summer in order to ensure students have them on the first day of class. There was concern about late-arriving textbooks last fall.

Thompson said investing in new textbooks early will help put books into students’ hands the first week of school.

The suggested budget revisions also include $155,694 to contract out speech/language and nursing services. And $145,092 is recommended to help fund two certified special education teachers and seven classified special education professionals.

Adjustments add $1.1 million to the district human resources department — $600,000 for workers’ compensation and $500,000 for unemployment claims.

Money was added to operations in the transportation and maintenance departments as well. To view the full list of proposed 2013-14 mid-year budget adjustments, visit the eboard site at www.clayton.k12.ga.us and click on the Jan. 27 board work session meeting agenda.

Additionally, the board is reviewing a 2014-15 school calendar proposal and amendments to its Policy Series G Personnel.

The calendar has 175 days for student instruction and a 185-day schedule for teachers

The policy changes cover the board’s equal opportunity employment and reduction in force policies as well as its procedures on complaints, harassment, professional personnel transfers.

Changes are planned for the policy governed by the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act, which notably adds up to 26 weeks that employees may take on unpaid leave for reasons that include the birth and care of a newborn; care of an adopted or foster child, spouse, parent or biological child; a serious health condition that prevents the employee from performing essential job functions; and call to active military duty.

The board meets at 6 p.m. Monday for its monthly meeting at 1058 Fifth Ave. in Jonesboro.