BoE will continue budget discussions at annual session
by Megan Thornton
April 17, 2013 11:54 PM | 1655 views | 7 7 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Clarification: The voter-approved SPLOST for 2013-17 began collections for the first month in January. The district received the first month of the penny sales tax collections in February, which were $2,269,30 and below the projections of almost $2.5 million. The Cherokee County Board of Education will continue discussions tonight at its work session to address the projected $65 million shortfall for the upcoming school year.

Superintendent Dr. Frank Petruzielo will hold his annual “Trends in Education” strategic work session at the school board auditorium in Canton at 5:30 p.m. Topics of discussion will include the fiscal forecast for the 2013-14 school year, including federal, state and local funding; the impact of federal sequestration; the 2013 Georgia legislative session; ad valorem property tax revenue; Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax revenue and the tentative budget, including operating and capital outlay funds. Some of the education trends Petruzielo is set to discuss include increased accountability for student achievement, technology integration, enhanced safety and security and expanded choice. For the coming year, Petruzielo said the district expects the funding won’t be available to restore the school year’s eight furlough days, a full 180 school days and increased class sizes, resulting primarily from $26.6 million in state budget cuts and a continued decrease in local property tax digest revenue to the tune of $30 million. “Additionally, sequestration will reduce federal funding next year by $1.2 million,” he said. “Employer-paid state health benefit plan premiums will increase by $4 million and matching state longevity salary step increases locally for eligible employees will cost $3.1 million.” He added that only $1.8 million would be available to the school board by increasing the millage rate by 0.55 mills to the maximum state-allowed level of 20 mills. District spokeswoman Barbara Jacoby said the district has not yet received local tax digest numbers to present to the board. Decreasing digest values have caused the district to lose about$10 million each year in local revenue in recent years, she said. The voter-approved SPLOST for 2013-17 began collections for the first month in January. The district received the first month of the penny sales tax collections, which were almost $2.5 million below projections at $2,269,305. Candler Howell, assistant superintendent of financial management, said this is the lowest SPLOST collection the school district has received in the last 20 months. He added January is typically a low collection month and doesn’t expect the low collection to become a trend. “I don’t believe we would go 20 months above projections and continue to fall,” Howell said. “It’s really an adjustment going into the new (education) SPLOST. ... I don’t think it’s going to continue, especially with the economy looking like it’s increasing a little.” At the regular meeting following the work session, the board will consider moving a few administrative positions. Assistant Principal Debbie Kelly from Clark Creek Elementary STEM Academy will move to Sixes and become principal. Leigh Gutierez, a sixth-grade teacher at Hickory Flat Elementary, will move to Freedom Middle and become assistant principal. Melinda Roulier, an academic coach at Oak Grove Elementary, will move and become assistant principal at Clark Creek. Sixes Principal John Hultquist will move to Clayton Elementary and Rodney Larrotta, Spanish teacher at Woodstock High will move to Cherokee High and become assistant principal. The board will also consider a final reading on two revisions to school board policy in how the district would report financial impact of agenda items that took up a majority of last month’s meeting. Board member Kelly Marlow proposed the initial revision that was hotly debated against Petruzielo’s revised recommendation. The superintendent’s recommended policy changes were approved 4-3 with Marlow, Rob Usher and Michael Geist opposing. The board will also consider issuing requests for proposal for annual financial audits for both 2011-12 and 2012-13.
Comments
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Average Reader
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April 19, 2013
Being off by $2.5m for one month didn't sound right so I looked up the actual agenda online. From attachment D1-a on the BoE web site for this meeting, "Current SPLOST

For Fiscal Year 2012-13, the Cherokee County School District received $2,269,305 in February 2013, for the month of January 2013, the 1st month of sales tax collections for the 2013-2017 SPLOST. Collections received were below projections (detail included) for the month by $219,258. Hopefully, since this is the lowest 1% collection the school district has received in the last 20 months, this is a transition period for the new 2013-17 SPLOST collections and will resume anticipated projections in the next month."

Please correct the statement above in the article about collections being "$2.5m below projection" so those with nothing better to do than complain about the Superintendent's weight can crawl back under their rock.
Cherokee Trib Editor
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April 19, 2013
Clarification:

The voter-approved SPLOST for 2013-17 began collections for the first month in January. The district received the first month of the penny sales tax collections in February, which were $2,269,30 and below the projections of almost $2.5 million.



BatmanAndRobin
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April 18, 2013
Will the overweight, overpaid superintendent continue to complain about funding cuts that aren't hurting his increasing girth?

Will the microphone survive another beatdown by the rude mike-slapping super?

Will any other board member dare to disagree with the dictator?

Will any teacher care that the dictator actively seeks to increase their furlough days?

Stay tuned!

What a Joke
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April 18, 2013
"The district received the first month of the penny sales tax collections, which were almost $2.5 million below projections at $2,269,305."

So contractor Frank and the BOE's SPLOST projections were disastrously off more than 50% in a single month....and they expect We the Taxpayer to continue believing the rest of their lack-of-budget sob stories? This guy has no clue what he's doing when it comes to taxpayer money.

What an incompetent government worker (but I repeat myself). If anyone in private industry misses an estimate by over 50%, they'd lose their job.

Instead, this govt fatcat just sidles up to another buffet line, complaining about the lack of funding the entire time.
Joke's On You
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April 19, 2013
The newspaper made an error in its reporting. Go to the actual source on the CCSD website and see the financial documents for yourself. The collections were $219,000 off projection, less than 10 percent.
Cherokee Trib Editor
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April 19, 2013
Clarification:

The voter-approved SPLOST for 2013-17 began collections for the first month in January. The district received the first month of the penny sales tax collections in February, which were $2,269,30 and below the projections of almost $2.5 million.



CC voter
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April 18, 2013
Wonderif Ms. Marlow will shut up long enough to listen tonight?
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