Richmond County BOE deals with funding cuts

By: Meredith Taylor
By: Meredith Taylor

State funding cuts and lack of growth in the area are leaving Richmond County board members with the question of where to put the district's money.

News 12's Meredith Taylor sat down with controller Gene Spires and to find out if your taxes will be raised and if your children will be affected.

Several Richmond County employees will find themselves in new positions within the district next school year.

The Board of Education needs to cut $5 million from the budget by July 1.

"We haven't found all the reductions that need to be made to have no millage increase at this point," says Spires.

And that's just what board members are trying to avoid. They're already cutting $4 million by eliminating some jobs and even shifting the funding for some out of the general fund.

"We want to have a balanced budget that doesn't adversely affect our instructional program," Spires says.

Spires says part of the proposed budget is based on money from SPLOST 3...but there is no guarantee that money will actually be available.

The budget will also tap into the reserve fund, taking $3 million--something the board can't count on every year.

But one thing board members are counting on is help with the tax digest.

It is preliminary, but the digest shows a one percent growth over the past year...something they didn't plan.

"Initial budget was predicated on no growth," Spires says.

And Spires says even though he's not sure how much that will help, it's something.

"Unfortunately, we're in the situation in to where our area hasn't grown that much, so our tax digest hasn't grown like Columbia County and others."

The list of reductions that have to be made will continue to grow.

Board members are just hoping it won't mean asking you for more money.

Controller Spires says over the past four years, they've also had about $28 million cut in state funding.


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