Bibb School Board looks at cutting FY 2016 budget

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Bibb County Board of Education is looking at ways to make cuts for their 2016 Fiscal Year Budget.

“We receive state funds, local funds through property taxes and we receive some federal funds,” explained the board’s Chief Financial Officer Ron Collier.

Collier’s job is to figure out how much money the district will spend and how much it will bring in each year.

“At the end of the year, we should be 8% of what our total expenditures are,” said Collier.

The goal is to make sure the board has enough money at the end of this year to cover some spending for the next one.

“That speaks to the years FY17, 18, and 19 as we go along because we have some challenges as the years go by. It appears that our costs is increasing greater than what our revenue is,” noted Collier.

Looking at this upcoming year, board members realize some changes need to be made.

“If we don’t make substantial cuts to the budget, or rather, increase our revenues or decrease our expenditures, we’re looking at about anywhere from a six to nine million dollar shortfall,” explained Board Member Lester Miller.

Miller said the majority of the board doesn’t want to increase taxes, so they’re looking at ways to reduce spending. In the latest budget preview, the board is considering cutting about 150 positions. Almost half of those are already coming from school consolidations. Miller doesn’t want to see people losing their jobs, so he’s offering other ways the board can save money.

“We have some surplus properties, I think we ought to eliminate. Sell those properties, get them off our books. Sell some insurance,” continued Miller. 

Miller added, if the board can figure out ways to maximize what they already have in place, they’ll be able to make the cuts they need.

All of the estimated numbers in the budget proposal are based on multiple factors. For example, the total number of students enrolled in the school system affects how much money the state gives the district. There’s also a bill seeking the Governor’s approval that would increase classified employees’ health insurance $150 per person. 

Collier plans to factor in the employee’s health insurance increase for the next budget preview. The next budget work session is scheduled for April 14th. The deadline for the final budget is June 30th.

Categories: Bibb County, Local News

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