BOE sets $23 million 2018 budget

BOE Member Martha Lee gives a report on her recent attendance at a training session.

The Bacon County BOE has adopted a $23 million 2018 budget with over half that amount earmarked for instruction.

At their regular meeting last week, the board voted unanimously to approve the budget which represents only a minor change from last year’s.

“This is where we should be. I’m very confident with this budget,” Andy Houston told the board. “We will have $2.8 million in reserves. Our SPLOST fund is building back up and, hopefully, will continue to do so. And, the new SPLOST process is underway.”

In addition to $12 million for instruction, the 2018 budget includes $1.1 million for administration, $1.6 million for maintenance and operations, and $760,000 for pupil services.

According to the budget published in the June 6 edition of the Times, the BOE expects to receive over $750,000 more in revenues than they plan to spend.

Also during the meeting, the board approved their annual, new school year contracts for milk, food, produce, bread, chemicals, and paper products and supplies. They also renewed contracts for services for the hearing and vision impaired, occupational and physical therapy, and other support services.

The board also agreed to continue to participate in the “free breakfast program”, pay $25/route for substitute bus drivers, agreed to maintain school meal prices as last year, and contracted to provide HeadStart meals.

The meeting was Interim Superintendent Jason Rigdon’s last in that job and he was thanked by the board for his services.

“We appreciate you keeping us going in the right direction,” BOE Chairman Dan Taylor said.

In relation to new, stricter attendance standards at the high school, BOE Member Vance Burkett talked about the need to improve students’ understanding of what is required by employers.

“The number one problem for employers in Bacon County is people knowing when they need to get to work and getting there,” he said. “Parents need to know what our attendance policy is and make sure their students follow it. I like the changes. Attendance is important at work and at school and there are consequences if you aren’t there.”