Commerce superintendent of schools Joy Tolbert outlined a rough plan last Thursday night under which the city school system will try to turn its current $247,000 deficit into a $1 million fund balance in five years.
Tolbert explained at the school board’s work session that with the new three-mill bond tax paying the principle and interest costs on the school bonds, SPLOST revenue formerly used to make those payments can be diverted to cover textbooks and technology — giving relief to the maintenance and operations budget.
Additionally, school enrollment is up, meaning the system will get “mid-term adjustment” money from the Department of Education, which Tolbert said the system will bank.
“So, there is some hope,” the superintendent said. “We would like to gradually add back the six instructional (furlough days). As soon as you start adding back those instructional days, it’s basically a pay raise for teachers.”
With help from a RESA budget expert, Tolbert said the system will focus on two financial goals – rebuilding the fund balance and reducing expenditures.
For the full story, read the Dec. 11 edition of The Commerce News.