The Carroll County Board of Education voted to approve a $179 million fiscal year 2024 general fund budget at its June 22 meeting. The budget includes employee raises, additional teaching positions, bus purchases, technology upgrades, additional safety measures, and several facility improvements.
“This budget moves our district forward in a number of ways, and we are very pleased to work with the board to support these investments,” Superintendent Scott Cowart said. “The budget funds classroom instruction, technology and safety in real tangible ways that directly impact the quality of education for the students of Carroll County.”
The budget adds 27 new teaching positions and five support positions to start the next school year. These additional teaching positions mean that every elementary school in Carroll County now offers full time music and art programs for students – a major goal the board has been pursuing for several years.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity to offer art and music at all elementary schools next year, board of education chairman Bryant Turner said. “As a board, we have been working toward this goal for several years. We know the importance of music and art for students and parents as well as the impact it makes on academic success, and we’re so proud that we are able to provide this opportunity throughout our community.”
The budget recommended by Superintendent Cowart includes a $2,000 teacher raise that was included in the state budget earlier this year, and extends it with local funds to other Carroll County educators who are paid on a teacher salary schedule. Additionally, there are step raises for all eligible employees and a cost of living raise of at least 2 percent for classified staff. The local supplement to the state base pay for certified personnel increases from 9.5 percent to 12 percent, making the system more competitive with other districts in teacher recruitment and retention.
Additional items include enhancements to technology, facilities and equipment. A major technology infrastructure project will occur during the coming year. Federal funds cover 80 percent of the project cost, and the other 20 percent is included in the general fund budget. The system will also begin construction on a new operations center that relocates the transportation department to a site with direct four-lane access via the traffic light at Bankhead Highway and Old Airport Road.
The board voted unanimously to approve the FY24 budget after holding two public meetings. In July, the board will review the property digest and set a tentative millage rate for the next fiscal year.