Savannah-Chatham Public Schools superintendent proposes millage increase | savannahnow.com

2
May

Savannah-Chatham Public Schools superintendent proposes millage increase | savannahnow.com

Savannah-Chatham Public Schools Superintendent Thomas Lockamy wants his 2014 budget to include cost of living and step increases for all district employees, but that may require the school board to cut costs in other places or raise the millage rate used to calculate property taxes.

Wednesday, district officials fleshed out ideas for a balanced budget that boosts employee morale and supports quality instruction, despite anticipated cuts in state and federal funding. For months they have had a dreary financial outlook, projecting that they’d face a deficit of more than $16 million because of increased costs from new start up schools and multimillion dollar reductions in state and federal funding.

Lockamy said an anticipated $20 million in state education cuts this year will occur because legislators are taking money off the top of the public schools budget to fund special education vouchers and the new state charter school commission.

“They’re getting two to three more dollars per child than I am for my babies and I’m mad about that,” Lockamy said. “The legislators are forcing local boards to tax the people.”

But Lockamy’s staff presented a budget framework using projected revenue that they say will allow them to raise employee pay for the first time in five years, invest more in school maintenance, expand athletics at new high schools, replace outdated campus police cars and fund the four locally approved charter schools. All they’ll have to do to make it happen is raise the millage rate used to calculate property taxes by 1 percent to about 16.131 mills, Lockamy said.

via Savannah-Chatham Public Schools superintendent proposes millage increase | savannahnow.com.

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