Bibb school board approves FY 2016 budget, new ESPLOST

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Bibb County Board of Education approved its FY 2016 budget and the new proposed ESPLOST during its meeting Thursday night.

Board Adopts Final FY 2016 Budget

The new budget is $287.5 million. Some highlights from the proposed budget include keeping the millage rate the same, continuing no employee furloughs, keeping assistant principals at all schools, and having a 180 day school year for students and 190 day school year for teachers.

The proposed budget will leave $11 million, or 6.26%, in the general balance fund. According to board policy, the district needs to maintain a minimum general fund balance of 8%. Last month, the board approved a waiver that allows it to have a lower ending balance for FY2016. The general fund is comprised of state, federal, and local funds.

The district plans to make up that difference over the next couple of years.

Board Receives Update on Plans to Seek New ESPLOST

The board also approved a referendum resolution for an Educational Special Local Option Sales Tax, or 1% sales tax, to be called for a vote during the November 3, 2015 election.

Projects on the proposal are:

  • Consolidation of Appling Middle and Northeast High to a shared campus, including the construction of an auditorium on the shared campus
  • New elementary school
  • Renovations to existing facilities, including improvements to energy efficiency, playgrounds, and handicap-accessibility
  • Construction of auditoriums at Rutland and Westside High Schools
  • Purchase of school buses, vehicles, and transportation equipment
  • Safety and security improvements throughout the district, including controlled access entrances
  • A campus police facility
  • Athletic improvements
  • Site acquisition
  • Capital outlay projects for charter schools

The current ESPLOST was approved by county voters in November 2009. It will expire in December 2015. The revenue from this sales tax provided many needed district improvements including the new Heard Elementary School, the new Miller Magnet Middle School gym, the new Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School, the new Veterans Elementary School, technology upgrades, safety and security improvements, Westside High School renovations, a maintenance/custodial facility, the Elam Alexander Academy at Burke renovation, district athletic improvements, new buses and maintenance vehicles, and many other district wide upgrades.

Categories: Bibb County, Local News

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