Thursday, April 12, 2012

CCSD Budget Hearings

The “tentative” FY 2013 budget and property tax millage rate for the Clarke County School District will be released at tonight’s regular meeting of the Board of Education, to be held at 6:30 p.m. at the CCSD Administrative Offices on Mitchell Bridge Road.

Even though particulars of the budget will not be release until then, some observations are in order.

First, the budget.  For those who do not know, the CCSD per pupil expenditure for FY 2011 was $11,900, placing it in about the 95th percentile statewide, a position that has been constant for some years now.  For that stratospherically high level of spending, we get a graduation rate recently recalculated at 66.1% according to a new method imposed by the U.S. Department of Education (I’m shocked, shocked, that local and state education bureaucracies played games with the calculation of their graduation rates – yeah, right).

Second, the millage rate.  The CCSD’s portion of the local property tax millage rate has been at the constitution limit of 20 mills since about 2005 (as I recall), so don’t expect any change there.

Finally, budgetary "reductions."  Citing a decrease in federal and state revenues, not to mention the decrease in the local property tax digest, Superintendent Lanoue states that the tentative budget includes reductions estimated at $9 million.  Perhaps, but in past years so-called “reductions” have amounted to nothing more than decreases in anticipated (or hoped for) increases rather than a lessening of actual spending.  In fact, the budgets keep going up, even as the CCSD claims millions of dollars in reductions on an annual basis.

Be that as it may, the Board will adopt the tentative budget and millage rate at 6:30 p.m. on 19 April, also at 6:30 p.m. at the CCSD Administrative Offices.

The schedule for the CCSD’s three TBOR public hearings is:

           15 May – Alps Road Elementary School at 6:00 p.m.
           22 May – Gaines Elementary School at 6:00 p.m.
           24 May – CCSD Administrative Offices at 6:00 p.m.

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