Education

Bibb school board works on budget and accreditation

The Bibb County school board met Tuesday night to make efforts toward finalizing next year’s budget.

Ron Collier, Bibb schools’ chief financial officer, presented a preliminary budget for fiscal 2016. Collier’s budget preview discussed the effect the recently passed state budget would have on the school district’s upcoming annual budget.

Increased health care costs and the loss of enrollment from the rise of charter schools would require the district to cut costs, he said. Collier estimated the increase in health care would cost the district about $1.1 million -- about $150 per participating employee. The financial loss from enrollment in charter schools would be $742.400, he said.

But it wasn’t all additional cost. Collier said an increase of $936,975 in mid-term allotment would positively “impact the beginning fund balance” of fiscal 2016.

However, the “cost cutting measures,” suggested by Collier, to bring the budget into balance were additional school consolidations and closings (beyond the current ones), a 10 percent reduction in operating costs, targeted contract buyouts for early retirement, employee furloughs and others.

GOVERNANCE ISSUES

Board members voted unanimously Tuesday to approve sending AdvancED a progress report, which was required after the accrediting group highlighted several deficiencies in May 2013.

The accreditation group gave board members two years to show progress in the areas of teaching and assessing for learning, resources and support systems as well as governance and leadership -- Bibb’s worst-scoring area.

In addition to that plan, board members also adopted a governance handbook, which was based on a handbook created by the DeKalb County school system after DeKalb had similar issues with AdvancED.

To contact writer David Schick, call 744-4382.

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