The Liberty County Board of Education voted 4 to 3 to move forward with a tentative fiscal 2018 budget of $101.9 million.
Board members Carol Guyett, Marcia Anderson, Verdell Jones and board chairwoman Lily Baker were for the tentative budget. Marcus Scott IV, Yvette Keel and Carolyn Smith Carter were against.
Board members heard an update on the district’s finances after tabling the budget at their April 25 work session.
Jason Rogers, Liberty County School System executive director of maintenance and operations, said the tentative budget relied on fiscal 2015 and fiscal 2016 expenditures.
He and the finance department were able to project fiscal 2018 on "actual numbers"
The budget includes an additional $23 million fund balance and capital expenditures of $7.1 million.
Some board members were fine with the projected budget and others wanted more information.
Scott said he thought the board was going to have more discussions about the budget before adopting the tentative budget.
Baker mentioned problems with emails in getting the information about the budget to everyone.
Anderson wanted to go with the budget and amend it later, if necessary.
Jones, who at the last meeting was uncomfortable adopting a tentative budget, said she looked at the district’s previous budgets and expenditures, and concluded she was fine with the fiscal 2018 budget. She still wanted to go analyze the budget more.
Carter asked about reviewing salaries for positions paid by the state versus salaries paid by the district.
Rogers said those figures are included under "Direct Instruction" which is budgeted for $61.6 million.
In previous years, the state required that budgets show how much money per school site, per program, Rogers said, and since then the regulations have been "relaxed."
Rogers informed the board that the district released a request for qualification for forensic audit services on May 4.
If the forensic audit reveals any discrepancies the board can amend their budget.
The final budget adoption is scheduled for June 13. There will be two required public hearings before the adoption at the board office at 8:30 a.m. May 23 and at 5 p.m. June 13.
The board has to adopt a budget no later than June 30 or approve spending on a monthly basis.
Code of conduct
The board approved the 2017-2018 LCSS Student Information and Code of Conduct handbook.
At the board’s last meeting there was discussion about prohibiting spandex and using the words "tight clothing."
The board recommended removing any wording regarding types of fabrics.
The revisions included removing the words "spandex," and "lycra" and changing "poorly fitted" to "inappropriately revealing."
The board approved a meal price increase for the upcoming school year. Elementary lunch will be $2, middle and high lunch $2.35, adult breakfast $2.20 and adult lunch $3.50.
For the next three years Century Link will be the district’s wide area network and Internet services provider for a total $387,360.
Board members approved the superintendent search announcement put together by the Georgia School Board Association.