News 12 at 11 o'clock / Thursday, July 26, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- With school just a little more than two weeks away, there was a lot on the agenda Thursday night at the Richmond County School Board meeting.
The biggest thing on the agenda was the millage rate. For the third year in a row, board members tentatively approved the millage rate to stay the same. That means there will be no education tax increase. Final approval on that will come in two weeks.
Board members also decided to move the principal of Glenn Hills High School, Dr. Wayne Frazier, to the alternative school at Tubman Education Center. He will serve as interim principal there.
The state will be involved in hiring a full-time principal at Glenn Hills since it is a "needs improvement" school. For now, the board named Glenn Hills Assistant Principal Charles Givens to serve as interim principal.
Another challenge is the budget. It was approved in June, but it means taking $17 million from the reserve fund. That could create a big problem for next year.
"In the 2013 school year budget, we're looking at probably having to close a school -- we're losing students, according to the state, our FTE is down 650 students this year," said board member Jack Padgett Jr.
Fewer students means less money, which is never a good thing, but especially when schools are already in the hole without much left in reserve money. The schools only have $10 million in reserves right now, which is enough to operate for two weeks.
Padgett says he hopes that will go up at least $2 million by the start of next year, but that is still not enough money to make a budget for the 2013 school year.
Also, lunches are going to cost 10 to 15 cents more, depending on the school.