Home Community Coweta County School Board Approves Budget for 2024-2025 School Year

Coweta County School Board Approves Budget for 2024-2025 School Year

The Coweta County Board of Education gave final approval to an operational budget of $299,265,148 for the Coweta County School System’s 2024-2025 fiscal year (FY 2025), at a called meeting on Tuesday, June 25.

Tuesday’s vote was the second of two formal votes on the new year’s budget, as required by state law.  It follows board budget workshops held by the school board in May, and a preliminary vote on the new school year budget on June 11. The new budget will take effect for the school system’s new fiscal year beginning July 1.

The FY 2025 budget does not project an increase in the local property tax rate of 15.41 mills.  Adoption of the budget does not set this year’s local property tax rate.  Millage rates for local property taxes are typically set in July, following the establishment of the local property tax digest by the county tax assessors office.  The Board of Education can also adjust school system tax rates for school operations based on the annual property tax digest, once the actual digest is received.

The Coweta County Board of Education has decreased the school system’s ad valorem millage rate in each of the past four years – to a 15.41 mill property tax rate set in 2023, down from 16.00 mills in 2022, 17.14 mills in 2021, 17.30 mills in 2020, and 18.59 mills in 2019 and for several years before.  In addition to these tax rate decreases, the school board also expanded senior citizen tax exemptions through local referendum in 2020.  These decreases have left the Coweta County School System with one of the lowest school system tax rates in the metro Atlanta and West Georgia region, and the lowest recorded tax rate for Coweta Schools since the 1980’s.

Information detailing revenues and expenditures in the school system’s FY 2025 budget can be found on the school system’s website at www.cowetaschools.net, under Financial Information (click on the tabs for “Budget Information – FY 2025”).

The school system operates on a fiscal year that extends from July 1 until June 30 of the following year. The budget covers school system operations and other expenditures during the upcoming fiscal year. It is also based on revenue estimates including anticipated state educational funding during the upcoming year and current estimates of local property tax revenue.

The FY 2025 budget approved Tuesday achieves several goals of the school board, including:

  • Maintaining the current student calendar of 180 instructional days, and the current instructional program for students for the upcoming year.
  • Absorbing significant increases in employee health insurance costs and retirement costs, for certified and classified employees.
  • Providing a 4.1% raise for bus drivers, school nurses and school food service employees.
  • Passing on a $2,500 State Base Salary Increase (plus local adjustments) for certified and administrative employees.
  • Passing on step increases for non-administrative certified employees, where due, according to pay schedules.
  • Adding teachers and support personnel in various positions system-wide in FY 2024, including moving employees covered by temporary ESSER-ARP funding to the school system’s General Fund, and growth positions.her
  • Maintaining the school system’s Georgia’s Best educational program – administered in partnership with the University of West Georgia – to provide continuing education for school system employees.
  • Increasing operating budgets in school technology, maintenance, professional learning and transportation departments, increased funding for an expansion of the Elevate program, increasing school safety expenditures, absorbing increasing costs of property insurance, and other cost adjustments.

The FY 2025 General Fund budget of $299 million is funded principally by state revenues and local property tax revenues. The budget approved Tuesday anticipates an overall increase in state funding during the coming fiscal year, and assumes maintenance of the current 15.41 mill local property tax rate with 3.00 percent growth in the local tax digest.  The General Fund budget includes the largest portion of funding for instruction and pupil services, maintenance and operation of schools, transportation, and other operational costs.

In addition to the General Fund, there were three other components approved by the board as a part of its total FY 2025 budget.

These include $39,137,332 in anticipated expenditures through the Special Revenue Fund, which accounts for special federal programs such as Title I, federal lunch programs, and IDEA.

Also included is $45,900,014 in anticipated expenditures through the Capital Projects Fund, which accounts for construction and other capital expenditures during the year.  School construction is funded principally by revenues from the Educational Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (ESPLOST), through which the system follows a “pay as you go” strategy for school construction projects. The system also receives some earned state funding for construction. Funding under this line item can fluctuate from year-to-year, depending on the scale of construction projects undertaken by the school system during a given fiscal year, such as the rebuilding of Newnan High School.

Since the school system has no current debt, no expenditures are required in the system’s Debt Service fund in FY 2025.

Those funds, combined with the maintenance and operation fund, total $384,302,494.

Also at its called Tuesday meeting, the school board formally adopted an amended fiscal year 2024 budget of $423,167,388, including a FY2024 general fund budget of $294,219,260  This formal approval includes all federal programs such as Title 1 and I.D.E.A, and other school system budgetary items for the 2024 fiscal year (July, 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024).

To see more school system budget information, go here. (www.cowetaschools.net, under “Budget, Financial and SPLOST Information).  The page provides links to current FY 2025 revenue and expenditure detail, and also includes several years of school system budget information, millage history, tax digest information, school system annual audit reports and annual ESPLOST reports.