PERRY — The Houston County Board of Education unanimously approved a temporary transfer of not more than $600,000 from the system’s general fund to the debt service fund Tuesday to cover a temporary cash shortage in SPLOST-backed bond funds.
The system must pay back $12.6 million in bond funds Sept. 1, but only has $12.1 million available, said Stephen Thublin, assistant superintendent for finance and business. While the transfer must take place in order to have enough money to cover the payment, the system expects to receive SPLOST revenue by the end of the month. Once it is received, the system will be able to transfer the money back into the general fund by September.
Thublin said the transfer will not show up on the system’s monthly record, but it will be visible on more detailed accounting ledgers.
In other business, the board unanimously approved the tuition rate for the children of out-of-county employees for the current school year.
Tuition for the children of employees not living in Houston County is $2,042 per student for the 2010-2011 school year, covering the local cost of instruction.
The amount is $199 less than last year’s rate, and it will continue to decrease as budget cuts reduce the amount spent per student while enrollment continues to grow in the system, Thublin said.
The board also unanimously approved adjustments to the school system’s 2010 fiscal year budget to reflect continued funding cuts, which list $14 million in cuts to the general fund. Most of those cuts come from the state level, Thublin said.
The interest on the system’s general fund generated $3 million three years ago, Thublin said, but only $157,000 presently. On-behalf funds, made on the state level for employees’ health insurance and retirement, are $500,000 this year, down from $4 million two years ago.
Houston County also is expecting, but has not yet received, additional funds from the U.S. Department of Education.
The adjusted budget also includes $13 million in reduced expenditures in instruction, operations and other areas. Board vice chairman Toby Hill paused before board members approved the measure.
“I hope you all realize that’s like reading an obituary. That’s dealing with people’s lives,” he said.
“I don’t think we should pass over this. It’s a symbol of what we did last year, on unfortunate terms.”
To contact writer Andrea Castillo, call 256-9751.