GRIFFIN — The Griffin-Spalding County School System approved an operating budget totaling over $155 million for the 2023-24 school year.
Board members unanimously approved the budget at a called meeting held Tuesday. The newly approved budget will go into effect as of July 1.
According to a GSCS statement released Wednesday, some highlights of the final budget include:
- Pay step increases for all eligible staff;
- Retention payments and longevity supplements for eligible staff;
- An investment in instructional resources;
- Added teaching and support positions;
- An investment in school safety that includes Evolv Weapons Detection Systems and vaping detection devices at high schools;
- All students receive breakfast and lunch at no cost; and
- Campus improvements including keyless entry and digital message board marquee signs.
Of the FY24 general fund budget, 87% is allocated for salaries and benefits and 13% is allocated for supplies and supportsm, according to the statement.
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“An aggressive budget timeline led to preparation and adoption of the annual budget about a month earlier this year compared to typical years in GSCS. This was intentional to allow principals and district leaders to have clear expectations and more time for planning and staffing purposes,” said GSCS Chief Financial Officer Byron Jones.
The budget also accounts for a $6 million increase in state health benefits for school system employees this year, according to GSCS.
“I believe the FY24 budget reflects a commitment to the academic needs of our students as well as recognition of our valued employees. I appreciate the work of our staff and Board of Education,” GSCS Superintendent Dr. Keith Simmons said.
Public budget hearings were held April 11, April 25 and May 16, 2023.
Griffin-Spalding Board of Education Chairman R. Syntel Brown said, “it is always rewarding when the board is able to work together collectively as a governance team to positively impact scholar outcomes. I am pleased that this operating budget supports employees, families and scholars in the areas of student achievement, family and community engagement, high performing staff and organizational and operational efficiency.”
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