FCS Board Bulletin for January 20, 2023
The Fulton County School Board of Education met on Thursday, January 19, for its regularly scheduled Board meeting at the South Learning Center. Following are highlights of some of the more highly discussed topics, with the full agenda available online. Other topics discussed or approved are available via BoardDocs. Summaries of board actions can be found here and board policy updates can be found here.
Dr. Looney reported that February 6-10 is Georgia Severe Weather Preparation Week, which will be planned and supported by multiple state agencies and local public safety partners. Additionally, he expressed gratitude to building and district leaders who came together for the winter leadership conference. Finally, he recognized the staff at College Park Elementary School, which he visited earlier in the day, noting their hard work making improvements to the school.
FCS Bridge to Success Update
Director of Federal Programs Montreal Bell provided a monthly update on the district’s Bridge to Success plan, a three-year comprehensive plan and transformational investment to help students recover from learning loss resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure student achievement, growth, and success. The update focused on reviewing the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds and providing an overview of the plan’s current initiatives.
Ms. Bell also reviewed American Rescue Plan (ARP) requirements in which the district developed plans to address learning loss and a safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of services plan. The many initiatives making up the district’s strategy to address these key components include Every Child Reads, Textbook Adoption, Expanded Programs, Business Continuity, and Leadership Development and FOCUS. Most recently added to the Bridge to Success Plan last year, is the new Student Safety Initiative. This initiative aims to help school staff and administrators build capacity and restoratively improve school climate and culture through positive behavior interventions and supports, and fair discipline processes and procedures.
Annual Comprehensive Financial Report Update
Last month, the School Board’s audit committee met to review the results of the district’s FY 2022 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR), its Employee Pension Trust Fund and its Performance Audit on SPLOST. According to Chief Financial Officer Marvin Dereef, the ACFR and the pension fund both received clean opinions while the annual Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) performance audit indicates the program is operating in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations as well as the referendums approved by our citizens.
Mr. Dereef briefly discussed the ACFR, which is divided into four sections: Introductory, Financial, Statistical and the Single Audit Section, indicating the district’s two major sources of general fund revenue are property taxes and state revenue. Property taxes were $16.8 million more than budgeted while state revenue was $2.7 million less than budgeted. As for the general fund expenditures, the district expended $1.086 billion. As expected, the audit also confirms that general fund revenue exceeded general fund expenditures and transfers by $62.4 million.
It has been the practice of FCS to maintain a healthy fund balance, which allows the district to manage through financial uncertainty and to maintain cash flows that reduce the need for a tax anticipation note. Mr. Dereef reported the district fund balance is higher than where he would like to be, and the district will work to strategically reduce the balance. Additionally, he reported the district’s largest federal expenditure of $46.9 million relates to the Covid-19 Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief III (ESSER) fund.
See the ACFR here. The cover is designed to resemble an art gallery, showcasing the work of our extremely talented students in kindergarten through grade 12. View the SPLOST report here. The Employees’ Pension Fund report can be found here.
School Allotment Guidelines
Each fiscal year as directed by the Board, FCS develops allotment formulas and guidelines for all schools within the district. The Board has approved changes to current formulas for FY 2024, including hiring campus security associates, custodians and EIP teachers, and staffing the district's new LEAP (K-5 behavior support) program. Click here to see the School Allotment Guidelines.
During the meeting, Dr. Ryan Moore, Executive Director of Strategy and Governance, provided a report on the recommendations for the non-renewal of RISE Preparatory Charter School and RISE Grammar Charter School. RISE staff and parents attended the meeting and have expressed a desire to the Board for renewal. During the Superintendent’s Report, Dr. Looney thanked the community for their engagement on the issue and pledged to continue communication. FCS staff is working on a closure and transition plan that will include community forums and student transition plans should the Board approve the non-renewal recommendation.
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