Posted: Monday, June 4th 2012 at 10:00pm
Cautious Gainesville BOE says, 'No tax increase for now'
By Marc Eggers Staff
GAINESVILLE – With a careful eye toward the financial horizon, Gainesville City Schools Chief Financial Officer Janet Allison presented a fiscal year 2013 budget for the Board’s approval that included neither a tax increase nor a millage roll-up.
Board member Sammy Smith asked Allison, "So you are not recommending a millage rate increase and you are not recommending a roll-up in the rate?"
"The budget was built on the current millage rate. Our millage rate adoption will not be until the fall…probably in September. There are no plans at this time to roll-up," Allison said.
"No roll-up?" Smith asked again.
"No roll-up," Allison responded.
Smith’s amazement stemmed from the fact that the proposed budget had an anticipated shortfall in excess of $3,447,000.
Allison said that additional ways of generating revenue were currently under consideration and they would be presented to the Board shortly, but at the current time she recommended using a portion of the general fund surplus to balance the budget.
The current budget fund surplus is approximately $6.5 million.
The measure was approved unanimously but Board member David Syfan said with caution, "We’re sort of weathering the perfect storm…we need to be thinking of next year, too."
For the meantime, the current 7.39-mils will remain the standard.
As part of the new budget the decision was made to close the Employee Day Care Center, eliminate one administrative assistant position from the Central Office, and that district office employees – including Superintendent Dr. Merrianne Dyer - will be assigned to spend one day per week at a school in a support function.
OTHER SCHOOL BOARD BUSINESS
The upcoming school year will include 172 days for students and 180 days for faculty. There are ten planned furlough days in the schedule, but the Board will review financial conditions in November and February in hope of reinstating one or more of those furlough days.
School hours for the coming year will be 7:30AM - 2:30PM at the elementary schools and 8:30AM – 3:30PM at the middle and high schools.
The Board was also presented preliminary report card results as part of the Balanced Scorecard, a summative reporting and evaluation tool used for the evaluation of the Superintendent.
"The data on the Balanced Scorecard looks very solid this year, for the most part," said Jamey Moore, Director of Curriculum and Instruction.
"CRCT (standardized test) retakes are not in there yet. This is just the initial data, which already is looking better than how we did the year previous," Moore added.
And local golfing legend Tommy Aaron was on hand to congratulate and help recognize the rare feat of both the Boys and Girls golf teams at Gainesville High School winning state golf championship titles.
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