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Bulloch BOE begins FY25 Budget discussions at meeting

The Bulloch County Board of Education reviewed the tentative FY 25 general fund and capital project expenditure budget at its Thursday, April 25, 2024 meeting. Read here for a summary of the expected costs and for links to presentations/video recording of the meeting.

The Bulloch County Board of Education met Thursday, April 25, 2024. Mill Creek Elementary School students Sadie Turner and Jonas Lee led the pledge of allegiance, after which the board agenda was adopted.

Mill Creek Elementary School then made a presentation about some of the recent successes they have seen, and spoke about some of the school improvement programs they are using to benefit student learning.

Jan Richardson's Guided Reading is used in all grade levels at MCES, and kindergartners especially have seen significant growth using the program. Fifth graders have the opportunity to be library ambassadors, which gives them a chance to read to other students and help them find library books in the morning.

Community involvement helpers, such as Tormenta, have been a part of bringing real world experiences into the classroom through conversation and writing. School Climate is an implementation to help students understand and meet behavior expectations.

The board then moved into a discussion about the tentative FY 25 budget expenditures, covering the general fund and capital projects fund. 

Department Budgets - 13% of General Fund


School Allotments, or the school funding model used in BCS, passes funds from the state to the schools who then make the decisions about operational and improvement needs. The funds are split across Bulloch County schools proportionally, based on enrollment and accommodation needs.

“Board of Education” covers the board member payroll and professional development/travel costs.

Public relations encompasses content management, technical support, mass messaging systems, and more. These costs are projected to be lower because of a change in the website bid process and a new vendor.


Assistant Superintendent Teresa Phillips presented the next points about funds that are allocated to some school improvements. LEAP and LIFE programs are projected to cost less without the initial start-up allocations they needed last year for classroom supplies.

CTAE allocations have increased by more than $267,000 to provide the necessary supplies/equipment, transportation, student competition costs and the XCEL partnership program. Additionally, BCS is proposing to fully-fund extended days for instructors that are paid from a grant that only compensates about 50% of their required hours.

The data and assessment category includes department operating costs, testing for licensing PSATs and AP Exams, student information systems, and record software.


Special Education has seen increases in costs for resources for the self-contained Autism program and costs associated with ESY, CPI training.

Phillips reports that they just found out that the schools will not be receiving funds for the Title V rural grant, and this has made eliminations and movement of allocations necessary.

The school improvement department is projected to spend over $1 million less than in FY 24.

Board Member Donna Clifton urged the board to question the allocations, described as “resources” under school improvement, to the Parks & Recreation Department for the after school program, as parents already pay for children to participate in this program. 

untitled-design-163Maintenance costs are budgeted at over $4 million and broken down into energy costs ($2.7 million), school improvements and repairs ($1.3 million), fire alarm testing ($113,000), and software ($180,000).

Technology services are expected to cost $3.4 million and will be used to purchase Chromebooks ($2M), software ($326,000), computer lab technology refreshes ($231,000), intercom upgrades ($220,000), administrator district radios ($160,000), and additional equipment ($212,000).

Additional safety resource officers, vape detectors, administrator body cams, THC test kits, and metal detecting wands have been budgeted into the safety category of the business service department.

Salaries and Employer-Funded Benefits

The board is proposing a 7% increase on base salary for all staff, adding $7.629 million to result in a total cost of $95.793 million. Additional positions including CTAE specialists, data clerks, school improvement specialists, and more are expected to cost $435,000. Salaries comprise 60% of the general fund expenditures.

Employer-funded benefits consisting of health insurance, medicare/FICA, and Teachers Retirement System, are expected to increase by $5.194 for a total cost of $42.352 million.


Capital Project Budget



Across the board, the allocations in the budget represent the inflation of costs of materials and services and have required careful discussion about each item with optimal savings at the core of the creation of the plan. More detailed descriptions about each department can be found on the budget presentation.

Bulloch County Schools released a statement on the review of the $159 million budget plan and included the following points:

“The district continues to employ a long-term financial strategy to balance revenues and expenditures, utilizing the district’s excess general fund reserves (fund balance) that were built up in FY ‘21 and FY ‘22, while addressing needs that have emerged. This strategy involves a continuous focus on revenue growth in the community, managing expenditures based upon needs and values-based priorities, and restoring the district’s general fund balance to pre-COVID levels. District leadership and the board have been intentional and prudent in addressing the multitude of challenges that have emerged over the past few years, ranging from mental health and learning gap needs of students to an ever-increasing competitive workforce environment, and plan to continue doing so.

Once all components of the general fund budget have been finalized, the board will be presented with a tentative budget for approval. Tentative budget is currently scheduled for June 6, with a final adoption vote scheduled for June 27.”

Further meeting dates regarding the budget and work session are as follows:

  • May 9, 2024 Board Meeting -  Review Preliminary Revenues, Follow-Up on Items from April 25, 2024 Board Work Session
  • May 30, 2024 Board Work Session (if needed) - Further review of budget information prior to tentative approval June 6, 2024 Board Meeting, Request Tentative Approval of FY ‘25 Budget
  • June 27, 2024 Board Meeting - Request Final Adoption of FY ‘25 Budget

After entering and returning from executive session, the board approved the personnel and contract recommendations on the agenda. The meeting was then adjourned.

Watch the Thursday, April 25 meeting recording here.