Financial outlook for Bibb schools improving

hgoodridge@macon.comAugust 16, 2013 

After receiving a financial update on Bibb County schools, interim Superintendent Steve Smith said he was pleased that things are looking brighter. “But we’re not out of the woods yet,” he cautioned.

During her report to the board’s Fiscal Services Committee meeting Thursday, Sharon Roberts, interim chief financial officer, reported that the district’s fund balance is more than $662,000 higher than projected.

The unassigned fund balance is about $18.3 million. The increase came from tax revenue coming in higher than projected, Roberts said.

She also reported that expected revenues for fiscal year 2013, projected at $71.8 million, came in $2.4 million over.

Roberts said she’s also preparing to ask the board in coming weeks to amend its fiscal year 2014 budget because revenue projections in it will be $1.2 million more than anticipated. Roberts said that increase is the result of the tax digest coming in higher than expected.

“It’s very positive,” Smith said after the meeting Thursday. “I was elated about the status of our budget. ... I wouldn’t say I’m satisfied, but we’re in a better position than we were a couple of months ago.”

Board President Wanda West agreed.

“In closing out our fiscal year, we have a higher fund balance, and that’s exciting,” she said.

As expected, the board voted to keep taxes stable.

In other business, board members approved the hiring of four top-level officials.

Sylvia Hooker was named deputy superintendent of school improvement and redesign. She previously worked for the Georgia Department of Education as superintendent of school turnaround.

Jason Daniel, who previously worked as director of facilities for Houston County schools, was named executive director of capital programs.

Bibb’s new director of assessment and accountability is Lynn Janes. She previously worked as Bibb schools’ math coordinator.

The district also hired a new director of technology, but did not provide complete details of the hire, pending notification of his current employer.

To contact writer Harold Goodridge, call 744-4382.

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