Budget shortfall $2M less than expected for Marietta schools
by Lindsay Field
April 25, 2013 12:00 AM | 1982 views | 1 1 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print

The Marietta School Board learned this week that the likely shortfall for next year’s budget is about $2 million less than they originally expected.

The board members met Tuesday night and were informed by the finance staff that fiscal year 2014 revenues will be $78.1 million and expenditures about $81.8 million.

The deficit, which will be paid with money in the district’s reserves fund, should be around $3.7 million. There is approximately $17 million in the fund.

The shortfall amount dropped by about $2 million. During March’s budget meeting, the deficit was estimated to be around $5.6 million. The difference is due to an increase in revenue collections.

Thomas Algarin, district spokesman, said state revenue projections increased, and unanticipated charter system funds will still be awarded to the tune of $672,931.

“The legislature approved charter system funds at the end of this year’s session, and we will be funded during FY14,” he said.

The board had originally heard that the extra funding would not be available to charter systems.

Expenditures increased because the district is upping its number of certified staff members in preparation for another year of enrollment growth.

They will also have increased costs for school nurses and lost some federal funding for the high school’s JROTC program.

Unlike Cobb Schools though, these revisions are a good sign for Marietta City Schools.

The district will not have to implement furlough days, program cuts, increased class sizes or a shortened school year.

“This is the second draft we’ve reviewed, and it’s showing improvement on the bottom line,” said school board Vice Chair Tom Cheater. “Given that we’re seeing continued reductions in the city’s tax digest coupled with reduced state and federal dollars, I consider that a major accomplishment.”

Local tax revenue is expected to decrease by 4 percent, due to a 1-percent decrease in the tax digest and a millage decrease of .475 mills.

Cheater credits the city school district’s finance team for its conservative approach to using its money and always including a 360-degree view across all the expense and revenue areas looking for potential savings.

Board Chair Randy Weiner echoed Cheater’s sentiments but said he doesn’t expect the district to have to dip into its reserves as much as projected.

He said that for fiscal year 2013, Marietta City was anticipating a $3.7 million deficit, but as the end of the fiscal year comes to a close in June, they are only looking at only withdrawing $800,000 from the fund.

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April 25, 2013
My positive sentiments and many kudos to a school system that has proven worthy of its financial stability and prudence in a tough economy. You are the leader in fiancial stewardness in the metro Atlanta area when it comes to keeping your financial house in order. Keep up the excellent work!
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