MCSD discusses public policy and budget for 2016 - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

MCSD discusses public policy and budget for 2016

Public participation at Muscogee County School Board meetings are welcomed and encouraged.

Proposed policy revisions for regulating public participation at meetings were presented at Monday's work session. The session included that a person must make their request to the Superintendent's office to be on the agenda by the close of business on Friday, and their remarks should be directed to the board and limited to five minutes.

"We want them to come to the school board meetings and give their comments," says committee member, Kia Chambers.

District 8 member Frank Myers has discussed changing this policy for months.

The board presented an alternate policy written by Myers that closely mirrored the revised policy.

He stressed the importance for residents to exercise their right to free speech.

"The sacred rights we have as individuals is the right to free speech, that's the first amendment and the people who come to this board to speak have an absolute right to speak," explained Myers.

Parameters used to build the $268 million budget for 2016 include:

  • Repair the Hay (Classified/Professional Compensation Plan) to improve inequity in employee pay
  • Increase in State Health Benefit Plan cost for Non-Certificated Staff of $150 per employee per month
  • Increase in Teacher Retirement System "Employer" rate from 13.15% to 14.27%
  • Include implications of H.B. 170 – Transportation Funding Act of 2015 and the end of all public school systems' exemption on fuel excise     tax, effective July 1, 2015
  • Pass along step increase to qualified personnel
  • Continued effort to provide the programs needed as we strive to be a premiere district;
  • Include 1.5 mills for Chattahoochee Valley Regional Library System;
  • Include 1/4 mill capital projects set aside
  • Projected 1.5% increase in property tax digest
  • Mill levy retained at 23.37 mills
  • Restoration of fund balance to recommended levels, ensuring funding available to meet district's needs
  • Continued usage of fund balance to balance the budget
  • Continuation of zero-based budgeting model

The Final FY 2016 Budget and Millage Rate will be presented for official action by the board on Monday, June 15.

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