SAVANNAH, GA. (WTOC) -The Savannah-Chatham County Public School System has published their proposed budget online and they are looking for your feedback. The school board is proposing a $607 million budget, $16 million more than last years.
The board is planning to work in whatever they hear from Chatham County residents at a meeting on Wednesday into their process of coming up with a tentative budget by the beginning of next month.
The proposed budget supports a few initiatives set by Governor Brian Kemp when he took office, including making teacher salaries more competitive in Georgia to attract and keep quality teachers.
That included a $3,000 hike in certified teacher salaries, which is included in the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System’s preliminary budget, as well as the Governor’s recommendation of a 2% increase for classified staff.
After getting public feedback on the budget last year, another initiative receiving more funding support is school security.
Funds coming into the District from the increased millage rate are helping add school resource officers and counselors, too.
The District’s Budget Director says the majority of the budget is personnel costs, and explains why.
“85 to 87% of our budget is salaries and benefits," said Paige Cooley, SCCPSS Budget Director. "So, we’re a service organization for the students in our school district, and the majority of the money is service oriented to pay salaries and benefits. So we don’t have that many dollars when you think about it for other items. And that mainly goes into text books and instructional supplies, and training, and that sort of thing.”
The District will have a meeting June 5th to adopt a tentative budget and millage rate, but on June 12th, the public will have a two chances to weigh in on the proposed millage rate, which likely won’t change from the 18.881 mills.
And on June 19th, there will be one more public hearing on the millage rate, before the board adopts the recommended millage and budget.
Click here to read that proposed budget.