Employees in the Thomaston-Upson School System - certified and non-certified - will receive a 2 percent pay raise for the coming school year, and teachers will see a little more in their paychecks with the increase of the local supplement.
Taxpayers, however, will not be asked to pay more when the millage rate is set this fall, based on the approval
of the 2004-2005 fiscal year budget approved recently by the Thomaston-Upson Board of Education.
The budget is going up, but the tax rate is not, according to school system officials.
"This budget is doing what we did last year, while including cost-of-living raises for employees," said Superintendent Dr. Howard Hendley as he presented the budget to the board last month.
Noting the recent property reassessment, Hendley said the school system is going to ask the taxpayers for the same amount as last year - regardless of any value increases.
"If we have to roll back millage, we'll roll back millage," Dr. Hendley said.
The proposed budget is $30,439,000, with $8 million of that amount coming from local money and the rest from state and federal sources.
The current millage rate will raise about $7 million from Upson County taxpayers. The remaining $1 million will be taken from the school system's reserve account, also called the "fund balance."
Dr. Hendley said once the transfer is made, the fund balance account would still have about $3 million, which is 10 percent of the overall budget. He said that's in line with the amount of reserve needed.
"As long as we keep the fund balance between 8 and 15 percent of our total budget, we're in pretty good shape," Dr. Hendley said.