FCS Board Bulletin for May 17, 2023

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    The Fulton County Board of Education met on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, 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. Meetings are streamed live on the FCS district homepageRecordings will be available within 48 hours

    Superintendent's Report

    On behalf of the Board and the thousands of employees at Fulton County Schools, Dr. Mike Looney praised and thanked all the high school seniors participating in their upcoming graduation ceremonies. He acknowledged some may still be working toward earning their diploma, saying the district has summer activities available to help them finish school and achieve this goal. Also, recognizing this is National Police Week, Dr. Looney thanked the FCS Police and police across the country for their service. He concluded his report by solemnly acknowledging last week's passing of beloved Hamilton E. Homes Elementary School Principal Adrienne Grainger-Smith.

    TSI Update
    Zone 2 Superintendent Dr. Tamara Candis shared an update on the progress of the schools on the state's Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) list and detailed work being done by the schools related to relationships and routines, instruction, and interventions. There are currently four traditional and two charter schools designated as TSI schools. These include Bear Creek Middle School, Hamilton E. Holmes Elementary School, Tri-Cities High School, and Love T. Nolan Elementary School. Dr. Candis noted Bear Creek, Hamilton Holmes and Love T. Nolan have seen student progress from the beginning of the year on i-Ready diagnostics. Also, students at all four schools continue to make progress as indicated on the FCS district assessments. Some of the supports moving forward include developing scheduling that is better designed to improve overall student performance, providing attendance supports, and applying for grants that would allow schools to hire additional staff. See more about how the district is working to support and provide resources to these schools here.

    Board Approves FY 2023-2024 Tentative Budget
    Sound financial stewardship and a strong commitment to taxpayers were paramount in the development and approval process for the Fiscal Year 2023-2024 tentative budget. At the meeting, Chief Financial Officer Marvin Dereef outlined the details in the proposal for the Board and public.

    Leading the highlights, the FY2024 tentative budget includes a 5.1% raise for all employees and a 2% retention payment for employees returning for the new school year. The budget included an increase in the costs for the mandated employer health insurance and $24 million dollars for textbook adoptions. The budget is balanced by maintaining the millage rate at 17.24 - the lowest combined rate in the Atlanta metro area.

    Mr. Dereef highlighted a few changes since the April 13 presentation of the Superintendent's FY2024 General Fund budget recommendation, saying revenue assumptions improved, moving from 4.5% to an 8% increase of the tax digest. This adds $15.2 million more than initially forecasted. Other expenditure changes involve funding for Maintenance & Operations and school police officers.

    The FY2023 General Fund budget anticipates a year-end fund balance of $392.4 million. The projected FY24 ending fund balance is $298.8 million or approximately 22.46% of the expenditure budget. The total appropriation amount for all funds is $2.18 billion.

    General Fund $1,333,924,348
    School Nutrition Fund $51,528,789
    Special Revenue Fund $127,479,471
    Capital Program Fund $612,105,064
    Pension Fund $41,802,770
    Student Activity Fund $13,747,428
    Total appropriation for all funds $2,180,587,870

    Adoption of the 2023-2024 final budget is scheduled for Tuesday, June 6, 2023. All details of the tentative budget, including budgeted salary schedules, all provisos, School Allotment Guidelines, and the five-year capital program are contained in the FY24 Budget Book and can be found here. For more information about the budget process, watch Mr. Dereef's interview on "Let's Talk Schools" here.

    Board Policy Updates
    The Board took action to approve revisions to policy related to Board Member Conflict of Interest and School Admissions. The changes included:

    • Board Member Conflict of Interest:
      • Added a nepotism statement
    • School Admissions
      • Added a statement about when students can enroll in Pre-K
      • Clarified the age students need to be to enrolled
      • Explained what residency means
      • Outlined the specific documents needed for enrolling a student
      • Included that schools verify residency with original documents

    For more information, please visit the Board Policy Updates webpage.

    Budget Services Department Wins Honors
    Congratulations to the Budget Services department for receiving the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). The award was presented for the July 1, 2022, budget, which met nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. These guidelines are designed to assess how well an entity's budget serves as a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide, and a communications device.

    The department was also awarded The Meritorious Budget Award given by the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO). The department has participated in the MBA program for the past 13 years and is a testament to the commitment to sound fiscal management and budgetary policies. This award demonstrates the high standards that this school district has for school business management. Congratulations to the Budget Services department.

    New Hires and Promotions
    The following individuals were approved for new positions at the May 16 meeting:  

    • Susan Gowin | Principal, River Eves Elementary School
    • Vincent G. Golden | Principal, Banneker High School
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