By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia
The Franklin County Board of Education has signed off on their proposed fiscal 2015 budget, but it comes with a millage increase.
The current school millage in Franklin County is 16.868 mils.
The board is proposing raising the millage 1.75 mils to 18.618 mils.
At their meeting earlier this month, the board voted to approve the budget for advertisement.
School Superintendent Dr. Ruth O’Dell said the increase is needed to fund some of the things the board is putting back in the budget that have been taken out over the past several years.
“They have given five days back to all the certified personnel,” she said. “And then we have 164-day calendar instead of the 160-day calendar, which meant we operate four more days. That meant four more days for classified personnel, bus drivers, secretaries, that kind of thing. And they’re aware of how much all of that is going to cost in reference to the money we got from the state as well as local tax money.”
The board also voted to fill a number of positions that O’Dell said are desperately needed.
“We’re asking for math and science teachers at the high school and we have a request for three special education teachers,” she said. “We’ve got some significantly at-risk students at all of our schools that we’ve got to support. We’ve also asked for an extra assistant principal at the split schools and a para-professional at the middle school.”
O’Dell said earlier, the school system has had to use half of its $2-million reserve fund this school year to make ends meet.
That means they will be going into the 2014-2015 school year with just over $900,000 in the fund balance.
The Franklin County Board of Education is expected to vote to pass the FY15 budget on June 26th, the same day as Elbert County will.
Public hearings on the proposed millage increase are set for July.