Oconee County Board of Education Approves FY 2020 OCS Tentative Budget

Staff Report From Athens CEO

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

The Oconee County Board of Education recently gave tentative approval to a fiscal year 2020 budget of $82,328,294 which includes a reduction of the tentative millage rate to 16.5 mills – a decrease from the current 17.0 mills. In addition, the tentative budget provides raises for all staff. Oconee County Schools is the fastest-growing district in Northeast Georgia with over 3% growth each year and the tentative budget includes positions to accommodate growth, upgrades in safety and security, and more.

“This tentative budget is aligned with Oconee County Schools’ commitment to fiscal responsibility and sound financial planning that builds in the continued growth and associated needs of our system,” said Superintendent Jason L. Branch. “As one of only three systems in Georgia to receive a 5-Star Financial Efficiency Rating, the financial practices of our school system continue to support both high student achievement and fiscal responsibility.”

Highlights of the budget include:

  • Upgrades for safety and security, including a crisis alert system, enhanced access/keycard controls for staff, and school bus GPS access for all parents ­ – $555,000

  • Pay raises for all employees - $3,000 increase for certified employees; 2% increase for classified employees; $1/hour increase for bus drivers, custodians, and school nutrition staff – $3,024,000

  • Step increases for all eligible staff – $890,000

  • Thirty-four additional staff positions due to growth in the areas of special education, regular education, technology, and maintenance – $2,850,000

  • Fund balance maintained at 19.06% for future growth and planning

The budget is 71% for direct instruction, 6% for instructional support, and 23% for support services.