GEORGIA — Residents approved a revised $13.9 million school budget during a special vote Tuesday. The budget passed with 283 yes votes and 245 in opposition.
The Georgia School Board last month agreed to put a $13.9 million budget before voters after the initial proposed $14.1 million budget was shot down on Town Meeting Day — one of three school budgets to fail across the state on March 2.
The original proposed $14.1 million budget reflected a 4.51% increase over the prior year, with much of the cost coming down to mandated spending that couldn’t be altered. According to a flyer shared by the school district, health insurance costs accounted for more than 62% of the district’s increased spending, and along with $253,350 in contracted wage increases for teachers, led to a total increase of $610,686 over last year’s budget that couldn’t be altered.
The $13,942,392 budget proposal is $177,844 less than the budget that failed on Town Meeting Day.
The savings were largely found by three teaching positions that will be retiring ($73,960), updated tuition numbers accounting for fewer students ($66,864), shifting a portion of nurse position funding to an ESSER grant ($11,300) and projected HRA funding savings ($25,000), according to documents shared with the school board.
The revised budget will see roughly $15,972 in equalized per pupil spending — up 4.89% from last year — and an estimated actual homestead education tax rate of $1.5826 per $100 property valuation, up 7.43% over last year. This means for a home valued at $200,000, the tax bill would increase by about $219.