Fulton Co. school board votes on budget

School board gives tentative approval to FY19 budget

The Fulton County Board of Education gave tentative approval Tuesday night to the Fiscal Year 2019 budget, making it the first official step toward pay raises for teachers and staff for the 2018-2019 school year. The vote to approve was 4-2, with board members Linda McCain and Katie Reeves opposing. Final approval is slated for June 28.

The superintendent’s recommended $1.05 billion General Fund budget focuses on employee compensation to ensure that schools are staffed with the most qualified teachers and other personnel and additional support for students. It includes paid step increases for all eligible Fulton County Schools employees and funding for 10 social workers to staff Fulton’s social emotional learning initiative.

“This tentative budget was developed as part of an open and transparent process with input from stakeholders from across the school district, including our school board, teachers, staff and members of our School Governance Councils,” said Fulton County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Rose. “Our spending also is aligned with instructional priorities identified in our Strategic Plan 2022.”

Sixty-eight percent of the tentative budget is devoted to instruction, with the remaining 32 percent budgeted for pupil transportation, maintenance and operations, and other administrative functions. It represents an increase of 3.6 percent over the previous year’s final budget.

The proposed General Fund budget also takes into consideration student enrollment for next year as well as the district’s increased employer-paid contributions to health insurance and the Teachers Retirement System (TRS). Increases to TRS and employee benefits for classified employees make up 81 percent of the overall increase to the FY19 budget.

As part of the budget development process, a second public hearing to allow for community feedback will be held on June 21 at 6 p.m. at Asa G. Hilliard Elementary School in East Point. The tentative budget may be revised, pending additional input from stakeholders.

Breakdown of the FY 2019 Tentative Budget:

General Fund $1,051,202,013
School Nutrition Fund 41,991,355
Debt Service Fund 12,130,840
Special Revenue Fund 54,173,065
Capital Program Fund 509,009,734
Pension Fund 34,165,441
Student Activity Fund  19,219,733
Total All Funds  $1,721,892,181 (rounded)