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BOE moves closer to finalizing budget

POSTED: June 4, 2014 1:00 p.m.
Zac Taylor/Barrow County News

Alternative School program coordinator Chuck Torbett, left, and Bramlett principal Karen Dowis, center, were honored for their schools having the highest staff attendance for the year for middle/high schools and elementary schools, respectively. Yargo Elementary and Haymon-Morris Middle had the highest student attendance for the year, County Line Elementary had the highest transportation attendance and Snodon Preparatory the highest nutrition attendance.

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The Barrow County School System is one step closer to passing a finalized budget for fiscal year 2015.

Tuesday night the school board approved the tentative all other funds budget. A highlight of the budget is that it includes over $25 million for capital projects – mostly finishing up Sims Academy, work on preparing for a new Russell Middle and upgrades to two existing schools.

Now the budget, along with the previously approved tentative general fund budget, will be advertised in the Barrow County News in one of the next few issues according to state law, after which it will be voted on at the June 24 work session and called board meeting.

The budget has to be approved by June 30 by state law.

There may still be at least one amendment to either the tentative general fund budget or the final budget once the system staff has had more time to investigate a plan to hire three clinical workers to help staff the clinics at the schools due to the system only having 11 nurses for 16 schools.

Hiring of three new clinical workers would cost $81,900 and be added to the expenses of the general fund budget, which would lower the anticipated end-of-year fund balance for the next fiscal year to 7,785,000.

"Everyone’s behind (the plan)," said superintendent Chris McMichael. "We just want to triple check everything."

That includes making sure the plan would work legally and that the district knows what certifications would be needed of the medical assistants or EMTs who applied for the job.


Consent agenda

The board approved a number of items at Tuesday’s meeting in addition to the budget, including:

• The purchase of Sims Academy computer equipment, smart board, network switch equipment, mechatronics equipment, direct to garment printer, wide format printer, laser engraver and 3D printer.

• New district firewall solution for $62,416.

• Acceptance of Georgia Power’s RFP for energy conservation services at an initial cost of $34,000. The service would entail the company recommending a number of improvements in order to save money. The company could then do whatever improvements are desired and allow the school system to either pay the costs up front and immediately receive the benefits, or pay off the cost over a 10-year period, a cost that would be covered, according to Barrow building and grounds director Chris Stanifer, by the company’s own guaranteed savings. The other bid, Siemens, included an initial obligation of $127,960.



The board approved the hiring of eight teachers and a new assistant principal for Russell Middle – Terri Seeley – to replace former assistant principal Paul DeFoor who was recently promoted to principal.

The board also approved the resignations of two teachers and Russell assistant principal Matthew Donahoe, who had just been approved as the school’s new assistant principal at last Tuesday’s meeting.



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