NCSS may lose $1.6M state funds due to decreased enrollment

COVINGTON -- The Newton County School System could lose $1.6 million in state funding next school year because of a reduction in student enrollment.

The most recent state student enrollment count, called the full-time equivalent (FTE) count, for NCSS is down 400 students from the initial 2011-12 school year allotment sheet, according to Dr. Dennis Carpenter, deputy superintendent for Operations at NCSS, in a budget update to the Newton County Board of Education during its monthly meeting Tuesday.

Although the state still hasn't presented school systems with their annual Quality Basic Education allotments, or earned state funds that are based on student enrollment counts, for next school year, Carpenter said NCSS anticipates a decrease of $1.6 million as a result of the enrollment decline.

According to the most recent enrollment report for NCSS on March 28, 18,991 students were enrolled in Newton County schools, which is 267 fewer students from March 2011. The enrollment includes 9,484 elementary school students, 4,245 middle-schoolers and 4,865 high-schoolers.

Carpenter said state equalization grant funds could help balance the loss, but NCSS also has not yet received that information. Additionally, NCCS officials reported earlier this month that an anticipated extra $1.5 million in ad valorem and other taxes could increase the general fund revenues this school year.

Earlier this year, NCSS Superintendent Gary Mathews told the school board that he doesn't expect any major cuts for next school year since the board cut more than $8 million before beginning this school year. Still, six furlough days for school staff are planned for next year.

Carpenter said Tuesday that schools are still submitting budget requests and NCSS officials continue to work on the general fund budget for next school year, which is expected to be presented in the form of a tentative budget to the school board on May 8.

From May 9 through 14 and again from May 23 through June 12, the school board may hold work sessions on the tentative budget, according to the budget calendar.

On May 15, the school board plans to adopt a tentative budget, but the budget can change until a final budget is adopted on June 19.

From June 26 through July 17, the school board may hold public hearings related to the millage rate for next year. The board plans to adopt a millage rate on July 17.

Meetings are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the board room at the Newton County BOE building at 2109 Newton Drive N.E. in Covington.


henrystamm 1 year, 12 months ago

My point proven again! The jokers running the School system planned for fictitious increase in student numbers and started spending stupiditly. What is new?


bartsimpson 1 year, 12 months ago

Wake up NCSS. Has any one of you noticed the huge increase in private schools in our county alone? Peachtree Academy, Woodlee's, Covington Academy, Providence, etc.....far too many to list. Ask yourselves why, in this economy, would parents opt out of free public education and instead choose to pay private school tuitions? Shockingly, these private schools are growing in enrollment! Furthermore, some of your best teachers are leaving to teach at these private schools and for less pay! Dr. Matthews, you inherited a HUGE mess that was swept under the rug for far too long. I commend you for your efforts thus far and wish you nothing but success. My hope is that you can rid our system of incapable leaders at the school level and replace them with effective and encouraging principals. Maybe then we can once again attract the best teachers and students back into our school system.


Bemused 1 year, 12 months ago

Actually, they are taking public school funds and then sending their kids to a private school with it. That is what the voucher system is all about and that is why it is wrong. If people want to have their little precious bundles educated privately, they need to cough up the cash on their own, not take money from the public school systems.


dennistay53 1 year, 12 months ago

Simple economics, if you have less students you should need less money to operate on. That is why you have a school board and school adminstrators to set a budjet by number of students and money you get. My question is why do you continue to build more schools with enrollment going down. In the future we will be like Fulton,Dekalb shutting schools down and wondering what to do with the buildings. Private schools will always be starting up in fast growing and increasing crime areas, This has to be taken into consideration. You know it is alwats easier and less expensive to get rid of mobile trailers that may not be needed but for a few years than it is expensive buildings


bartsimpson 1 year, 12 months ago

You are not all together correct in your comment Bemused. My two children attend a private academy and they receive NO vouchers. We pay full tuition costs. Regardless, vouchers used by other families do not cover the entire tuition expenses, only a small percentage. Nonetheless, we have to ask, why are families choosing to put their children into private academies? Don't use the race card, social class division arguments, religion, etc. At the academy my children attend there is equal racial representation and socio-economic division. Ask the parents enrolling their kids, why are you choosing to pay for your childs education as opposed to sending them to free public schools? People are fed up with the politics and red tape of state ran schools, especially in Newton County.


bartsimpson 1 year, 12 months ago

Additonally Bemused, although my children no longer attend Newton County Schools, they no longer occupy class space and require class materials, they no longer eat school meals or occupy their teachers time or the administrators time, they no longer ride county funded school buses or require record keepers at the school offices to maintain their files, they no longer receive any personal benefits of the Newton County School System....... I still pay my taxes and pay full tuition costs for them to attend a private academy. Why? far too many reasons to list. Those families that can and do take advantage of partial vouchers for private schools also continue to pay their school taxes as well. Since these kid's are no longer attending, why not adjust the numbers to reflect their absence and lower the overall operating costs? That's what we do in the business world. I don't mind paying these taxes as I know it benefits us all, but don't say that a voucher system is robbing from the public school system. You're all together wrong on that!


spdracer90 1 year, 12 months ago

Agree 1000%!! My thought is if I don't want my child to go to public school why in the world should I have to pay school taxes to NCSS?? My tax dollars should go where my child goes--plain and simple. However, we all know that will never happen. I will continue to pay for other's "precious bundles" to be educated regardless if my child attends public or private school.


Satan69 1 year, 11 months ago

Doggone it I thought I would have mo money mo money for all of us to go on planes where is my receipt oops I done got the GBI on it.


spdracer90 1 year, 11 months ago

It is not rocket science--NCSS is in need of serious help! Anyone can see that yet not enough is being done. Why? What will it take? People are getting fed up! If you don't want your child in the NCSS you can either move to a place with a better school system or choose private school. Thank goodness my child is in a good elementary school right now but when it is time to go to middle school we will have some decisions to make!


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