Houston County school system budget estimated to be largest ever

alopez@macon.comMay 12, 2014 

WARNER ROBINS -- Houston County school district officials may be working with their largest budget ever in the next academic year.

School board members likely will vote to approve a tentative budget for fiscal 2015 at June’s regular board meeting, according to a timeline proposed by Stephen Thublin, assistant superintendent for finance and business operations.

“Our budgeted expenditures for the general fund is the largest it has ever been in the history of the Houston County school system,” Thublin said after a board work session Monday at Quail Run Elementary School.

The preliminary budget report presented to board members includes more than $232 million in expenditures from the system’s general fund, an increase of about $12 million from fiscal 2014, which is ending in June. As a supplement to the budget, district officials are requesting about $6 million for personnel raises and pay supplements, and $1.8 million for textbooks.

In addition, Thublin and Mark Scott, the current assistant superintendent of human resources and the next system superintendent, requested the school board approve a supplement to the fiscal 2015 budget request that would add 35 teachers to the system, including 13 special education teachers.

Thublin and Scott explained they would like the board to take action at Tuesday’s regular board meeting on the supplement budget request so the district can make the new hires.

“The board can see that we have sufficient funding to cover these additional positions,” Thublin said. “We need to go ahead and hire those people and bring them on so that we can lock them into a contract. The expenditures wouldn’t be incurred until next year.”

Once the school board approves a tentative budget in early June, it will be advertised in the county’s legal organ for two weeks. The board will then make a final vote on the fiscal 2015 budget at a called meeting in late June, Thublin said.

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