First School Board Budget Hearing is on Monday Night

Photo shows rows of seats in the Henry County Schools board room (Clayton Carte photo).
(Clayton Carte photo)

Henry County Schools will host their first FY 2025 budget hearing this upcoming Monday, April 15. The proposed budget increases $46 million over the previous year.

The budget hearing will be on Monday, April 15, at 6:30 pm. The school board meets at the district office in downtown McDonough. A second and final budget hearing will occur in May.

FY 2025 School Budget Hearing

Henry County Schools has an amended FY 2024 general fund budget of $514.7 million. They are considering a FY 2025 budget valued at $560.5 million. This is an increase of about $46 million dollars.

Some additional expenses in the budget proposal include the following:

Increased healthcare costs and Teacher Retirement System increase$9.8M
$2,500 salary increase for all certified staff$8.6M
Honor step in salary schedules; extend teacher scale to STEP 25$4.4M
2% salary increase for classified and administrative staff; adjust classified experience practices$5.7M
Targeted investment above 2% to yield at least $1 hourly rate increase for bus drivers, paraprofessionals, clinic aides, elementary clerks, campus monitors and SNP assistants$1.0M
Additional teacher allotments and resources to further implementation of Strategic Plan$4.6M
Additional funds for staff allotments, services, and resources to respond to enrollment growth$5.2M
Increased insurance, fuel, electricity and other district operational costs$2.5M

Note: The items above total $41.8 million. The cost estimates are from a presentation made in March 2024. Updated costs to match the $46 million dollar increase are not yet available.

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Paying for the Budget

Henry County Schools receives both state and local funds to fund its budget. For 2025, the district anticipates to receive $260.7 million in state funds. This is a decrease of $3.7 million dollars from the current year.

The district will receive less state funding because of growth in the local tax digest. The state’s education funding formula gives less dollars to counties with higher-valued properties.

To make up this difference and continue investments in budget priorities, the school district must rely on property taxes. They estimate collecting $273.5 million dollars for the next year. This is $23.8 million dollars more than FY 2024.

The school district’s millage rate is maxed out at twenty mills. In addition, there is a separate millage rate for bond debt. This value was 3.628 mills in 2023.

After state and local revenues, there is a budget shortfall of $21.3 million. The district plans to use fund balance to cover the difference. This is a local government’s equivalent to a savings account.

Budget Hearings & Final Adoption

The school board will host the first of two budget hearings on Monday, April 15. It will start at 6:30 pm. The school board has their study session beforehand at 4 pm. The business session follows the budget hearing at 7 pm. The board will consider preliminary adoption of the budget during the 7 o’clock meeting.

The second budget hearing will be on Monday, May 13. The meeting times will be the same. Following the second hearing, the school board will consider final budget adoption. Both meetings occur at the district office. It is at 33 N. Zack Hinton Parkway in downtown McDonough.

To view the draft budget, visit the meeting agenda. Select “FY 25 tentative budget” under budget hearing. Past presentations about the budget are on the school district website.

Featured image shows the Henry County Schools board room. Clayton Carte photo.

About Clayton 1481 Articles
Clayton Carte is the founder and owner of MHF News. He founded the site in 2017 to highlight transportation projects. Over time, he began covering other topics like new development so residents can best know what’s happening in our community.