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MOCO BOE Adopts $11 Million Plus Budget, Keeps Millage Rate at 15 Mills

The Montgomery County Board of Education has adopted an $11,830,096 budget for FY 2020-21 and kept the millage rate at 15 mills. The board took the action at its August 17 meeting at the board offices in Mount Vernon.

“We have not raised the millage in three years,” said Montgomery County Schools Superintendent Hugh Kight. The fiscal year ended June 30 and the board approved a “tight, tight” budget reflecting the state mandate to keep budgets flat going into the new fiscal year.

One perk of the pandemic, in addition to federal allocations to boost virtual education and to address extra expenses to fight the coronavirus, has been the gains of E-SPLOST. Kight said the extra income from the one cent sales tax can probably be attributed to residents shopping closer to home.

Anticipated FY2020-21 revenues from local, state and federal sources include: $2,800,000 from ad valorem taxes; $486,000 from other local sources; $5,609,872 from the state Quality Basic Education fund; $176,967 from the state Pre-K lottery; $76,488 from other state sources; $703,000 from SPLOST; and $1,977,769 from federal sources. The school system’s beginning and ending fund equity is $1,468,000. Public hearings on the proposed budget were held on August 10 and August 17. The tentative budget was posted on the system’s website.

In other business, the superintendent reported the MCES instructional coaches would be hosting iReady and SRI LExile benchmark testing for on-line students in the upcoming week; the system was approved for a Georgia K12 Student Connectivity Grant and WiFi transmitters for buses would be received by September 11; a second shipment of health and safety supplies has been received from GEMA; softball has begun; football has been scheduled to begin on September 11 with a game in Portal; and the system has been approved by the Georgia Department of Education for $77,000 to purchase a new school bus. Kight also reported that the high school hosted an assembly for 11th and 12 grade students with local and state law enforcement. The program topics included building relationships and how to be safe in a traffic stop. Students were able to ask questions of a panel made up of: School Resource Officer Justin Phillips; Mount Vernon Police Chief Calvin Burns; Montgomery County Sheriff ’s Office Chief Deputy Ron Bivins; and Sgt. First Class Eric Wilkes and Trooper Marina Thrift, Georgia State Patrol.

The superintendent also told the board that the school’s instructional coaches had shared a link with parents which will provide easy to follow steps for creating Google accounts. On-line students will be using Google Classroom for remote learning.

Kight thanked Federal Programs/CTAE Director Julie Harrelson for obtaining a Perkins Plus Competitive Grant of $11,000 that will enable instructors to help students develop work skills. The program provides shadowing with an on-line panel which will offer feedback on the students’ progress in applying and interviewing for employment.

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