Coweta OK's school funds for 2013-2014

The Coweta County Board of Education last week signed off on the general fund budget for the 2013-2014 school year that totaled $168 million. The new budget shaved $500,000 off operational expenses from the school year that ended June 30.

School system spokesman Dean Jackson said the $168,026,000 budget represents a reduction from the $168.5 million budget last year.

“However, no reductions in K-12 academic offerings are anticipated during the upcoming school year,” Jackson said despite the expenditure of fewer funds for 2013-2014. “The FY 2014 budget approved by the board also maintains the student instructional calendar at 180 days and current systemwide average class sizes are maintained. The budget continues a calendar that reduces the work-year by three days for all employees working over 180 days.”

The school board balanced the budget by using a portion of the school system’s reserves as had been done last year. That said, the FY 2014 budget adoption left $20 million in reserves.

Jackson said the FY 2014 budget maintains property tax rates at the current 18.59 mills, which the school board has maintained since first setting that rate in the summer of 2004.

The school system’s budget is funded primarily by local property tax revenues and state dollars.

In addition to the general fund, there were three other components approved by the board as a part of its total FY 2014 budget. They include $22,518,197 in special revenue funds, which accounts for funding sent to special federal programs such as Title I, federal lunch programs and IDEA (Integrated Disability Education and Awareness Program). Jackson said.

Also included is $41,425,045 in capital projects funds, which accounts for construction and other capital expenditures during the year. School construction is funded principally by Educational Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (ESPLOST) revenues. The system also receives some state funding for construction, Jackson noted.

Since the school system retired all outstanding bonds in February 2013, there are no debt service expenditures budgeted in FY 2014.