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School system expects deficit in two years

COVINGTON -- The Newton County School System has yet to present an official budget for next school year, but already school officials are planning for a nearly $3 million deficit at the end of the 2014-15 school year if the economy remains the same.

NCSS Superintendent Gary Mathews said in his Superintendent's End-of-Month Notes released Thursday that the system's general fund could have a deficit of $2,836,696 if tax assessor projections hold true with a 6 to 7 percent drop in the local tax digest.

He said if that is the case, then NCSS could have to reduce its 2014-15 budget by $7,298,561 in order to retain a "minimalist" fund balance of about $4.5 million, or "a mere" 3 percent. State experts recommend a fund balance of 7 percent, or just under $10 million for NCSS, he added.

"The national economic meltdown -- reflected locally -- has prevented a 7 percent fund balance to say the least," Mathews said.

This school year, the ending fund balance is expected to be about $13.6 million, but next school year, the balance would drop to just under $6 million, according to NCSS projections.

They show that revenues will jump to just under $132 million next school year, compared to about $130.5 million this year, while expenditures would increase to about $139.5 million next year, up from about $135.5 million this school year.

System officials have reviewed school budget packets this month and are working through April 15 to compile a preliminary budget for the system for next school year, according to the system budget calendar.

On April 16, Mathews plans to discuss preliminary budget date with the Newton County Board of Education. He and his staff will work in April and May to finalize a tentative budget.

On May 14, the superintendent plans to present the tentative budget to the school board. From May 6 through 10 and again from May 21 through June 4, the school board may hold work sessions on the tentative budget.

On May 21, the school board plans to adopt a tentative budget, but the budget can change until final adoption on June 11.

From June 19 through July 16, 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 16.

Comments

dennistay53 1 year, 8 months ago

Told you so in the Forum. I guess it's time to start cutting high paid executives?

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eyewitness 1 year, 8 months ago

Meadors has written and talked about zero basing the budget for at least a year or two. When will they listen?

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henrystamm 1 year, 8 months ago

Now we see why they pushed thru the tax increase. They never intended to lower our real estate taxes because of overspending. The crooks are now softening us up for the next wave of taxes. Typical tax and spenders. Lets send them back to the counties and/or states which they already destroyed.

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Frustrated 1 year, 8 months ago

Should we have expected anything different from them? Seems like the BOE doesnt know the meaning of the word "restraint". Wasnt this the reason they wanted to pass the ESPLOST? Guess all their promises about lowering taxes were just empty promises.

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dennistay53 1 year, 8 months ago

Look for a move to raise the millage cap in another March or general election next. Teachers looks like they will be trying to layoff more of you next. How's your ESPLOST you voted for working for you now?

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OnToday 1 year, 8 months ago

Wasn't too long ago they were trying to decide what to do with a surplus (see the related stories from just last yr).

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RV30015 1 year, 8 months ago

Shocking. We have board members what16 years who have allowed this to happen? we need term limits!

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TheUpside 1 year, 8 months ago

THis school board will probably hire a new superintendent who does not even want to or is not willing to even live in Newton County. Where are the published results of the community survey? What did the community have to say about the new super hire? Is this board going to listen to our input or ignore it? Was the survey just for fun? I want to know if they are considering any candidates who refuse to live in Newton County?

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ThePublicGood 1 year, 8 months ago

Two years away from a negative fund balance? What does the 16 year BOE veteran member have to say about this? People these are the people who will hire a new superintendent this week and next to fix this? What will they base their hiring decision on? I would like to hear from Gary Matthews as to his opinion on our next superintendent as to what type of person we need. Can we really trust a board who has us 2 years out from RED INK and has paid money to people who quit and has a school on Geiger Street upside down in payments? I am very worried about NCSS with this board or at least the majority of them leading the way in education. Have you heard the grammar of these board members? Have you? A sad day in Newton County - more private schools please get here fast!

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dennistay53 1 year, 8 months ago

This school system has NO CHANCE to succeed with the poor leadership it has.

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Lucy30016 1 year, 8 months ago

I think the interviewing for the new superintendent ended based on the news articles last week. So what we need to do now is find out are they considering for one second hiring someone from outside of the county who will not move to Newton County. We need a superintendent who thinks Newton COunty is good enough to move to and live in - if not then they should NOT be hired.

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OnToday 1 year, 8 months ago

My aunt sent in my resume for the NCSS superintendent job. That was so sweet of her. Fingers crossed!

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gsm7476 1 year, 8 months ago

I guess we needed that $70,000 after all.

How about the cutting the dues to organizations that we pay for personnel, if they want to join let them pay for out there pocket. Next start cutting anything outside the classroom you can start with cutting 40% from the central office budget.

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Shart15 1 year, 8 months ago

I cannot see them hiring someone unwilling to live in newton if so that is dumb

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mrsfingerprints 1 year, 8 months ago

Now that is a good one @OnToday the aunt story I had forgotten that one. I don't think it matters who lives where to this current school board the majority of them. They overlooked a white male Republican and that spoke volumes to me when they cycled to the current chair. That was a clear message that they do not want white males in education and surely not Republican ones because they know school choice is coming since public schools have failed so many lives. I think you can pretty much write NCSS off at this point especially if they hire someone who fits this pattern. This is what happens when voters fail to do their jobs last November. I would never be proud of being a longtime school board member in Newton County because in saying so I just admitted I never stopped the THREE MILLION dollar deficits from being 2 years away. We need more private schools and we need tax credits and vouchers to send our kids to them.

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John 1 year, 8 months ago

Well they have two years advanced warning to "fix" their issues. Start now by looking at what expenditures, positions, plans that are really necessary expenses and those that are just nice things to have for "just in case" situations.
Having worked in the private sector for 41 years, it always amazed me how companies could actually produce the same if not better results when budget shortfalls cause spending & personnel cuts. Some called this "getting back to the basics"

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MamaTurd 1 year, 8 months ago

They should not replace the operations position. Things run smoother without that position now. HR could lose 2 people and each principal should identify 2 nonteaching positions to cut. Instructional coaches should be cut.

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MamaTurd 1 year, 8 months ago

Also cut grad coaches with almost 40% not graduating they obviously are not effective.

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Crazyhooker99 1 year, 8 months ago

RV30015 the SHOCKING part is that those same individuals don't believe in term limits or maybe they just don't care.

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dennistay53 1 year, 8 months ago

I will serve only one term if elected in 2014 in the 3rd. I believe in one to two term limits for ALL local officials.

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eyewitness 1 year, 8 months ago

Please run..Qualifying is April 2014 but start early and get a team to get your message out. Also attend meetings and ask questions.

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