|Proposed budget lean, but continues quality program for students
J. Alvin Wilbanks
Gwinnett County Public Schools’ (GCPS) budget season is underway and the school system has developed a proposed budget totaling approximately $1.23 billion, down 17.9% from this year’s budget.
Crafting a recommended budget is never an easy task, but the challenge has been unusually difficult this budget season. A fourth year of state revenue cuts has complicated the budget process as we deal with rising costs associated with:
As a result, development of the FY2006 budget has been more challenging than any in recent years. The challenges of balancing a budget that is already so lean presents difficult choices. For the first time in four years, I have recommended a budget that calls for a modest one-quarter of a mill increase in school taxes.
- Increased student enrollment-- next year, we will have a record-number 7,000 new students;
- The need for about 600 additional teachers and employees to handle increased enrollment;
- The need for a well-deserved 2% cost-of-living salary increase for staff;
- Increased costs for utilities and fuel; and
- General inflationary increases.
Gwinnett County Public Schools does a commendable job of managing its investments, monitoring expenses, and saving money when possible. As a result, we have put together a solid budget proposal. The Superintendent’s Recommended FY2006 Budget is a budget that is sensitive to the public’s concerns about taxes and realistic about the strain on future budgets. However, most important, this is a budget that allows us to continue providing quality programs and services for students. Click here to view the Executive Summary of the FY06 Budget and here to review FY06 Budget highlights.
J. Alvin Wilbanks