By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
BOE Approves tentative FY 22 budget
Kemp’s E.O. means LCSS will not require masks be worn in class, on campus
LCSS logo

The Board of Education held their meeting May 25, where they approved the tentative budget for fiscal year 2022. Liberty County School System Executive Director of Finance, Stephanie Clark, said the tentative budget has $158,322,169.00 in total funds available in the general funds and $14,916,255.00 in the Capital projects funds. The LCSS has budgeted $137,206,842.00 in total expenditures and transfers in the general fund and $10,333,232.00 in capital projects fund. The budget includes a salary increase for all personnel.

Clark provided a presentation on the budget during a public hearing held prior to the regular meeting. The final public hearing will take place at 5 p.m. on June 8. The Board will vote on the budget at their regular 5:30 p.m. meeting that same evening.

With a swipe of a pen, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp altered the LCSS’ plans requiring students wear masks in classroom when they return to in-person learning in August. On May 28, Kemp signed an executive order prohibiting school systems from requiring masks in classrooms and on campus. In an earlier BOE meeting the system indicated they would require students and staff to wear masks in the classrooms. LCSS Superintendent Dr. Franklin Perry said the district will comply with the executive order.

Kemp’s order does not prohibit parents, staff, or students from wearing masks if they wish to do so. It simply prohibits districts from implementing masks mandates.

At the May 25 meeting, the BOE also approved to upgrade the existing telephone system throughout the district. Chief operating Officer Arnold Jackson said the current phone system is more than 15 years old and the plan is to converts the current analog system to voice over internet protocol (VoIP). Jackson said using VoIP is cheaper, will eliminate long distance charges and improve communication. The contract was awarded to Entre Solutions at a cost of $126,782.50 from the operating funds.

The Board approved system-wide security upgrades awarding the contract to Dabbs-Williams at a cost of $127,945.00. The upgrades were approved by the Georgia Department of Education who allocated $42,570.50 to the district for the project.

The Board will be considering upgrade the system’s security camera from analog to digital cameras in the future. The anticipated cost is $350,000.00 and funded through Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.

The Board approved the installation of new digital signs for Snelson-Golden Middle School, Joseph Martin Elementary and Waldo Pafford Schools. The bid was awarded to Dabbs-Williams at a cost of $286,000.00 paid through the E-SPLOST.

LCSS Executive Director for Technology and Media, Melissa Roberts asked the Board to approve the purchase of an additional 65 Macbook computers to ensure they have enough for new staff. The coast would be paid from CARES Act funds at a cost of $89,917.75.

Jackson said they will be requesting bids for food items for the upcoming school year. US Foods informed the system that they were unable to provide food items for the next fiscal year.

The LCSS charter was approved by the state Board of Education. The new charter contract will begin July 1, 2021 until June 30, 2026.

Sign up for our e-newsletters