The highlight of last night’s work session was presentation of the preliminary budget proposal for 2009 by Chattooga County School Superintendent Dr. Dwight Pullen. Pullen told board members that the school system still had to finalize some payouts for this month, but he estimated that the beginning balance for the county schools to be in the neighborhood of three million dollars ($3,000,000). Pullen stressed that it was good accounting practice to end the year with approximately ten percent of the budget in hand already. He mentioned that although the rising cost of fuel and the slow economy have made for a tight budget for next year, county educators have responded by providing figures which are lean but which still provide a quality education for all students.
According to initial numbers provided to the Chattooga County Board of Education members during their monthly work session last night, the preliminary 2008-2009 budget projected school system expenditures of almost 25.5 million dollars ($25,487,107.19) with over sixty percent of that amount earmarked for student instruction. Other substantial expenses include “Improvement of Instructional Services “ – which accounted for over five percent, “School Administration” – which made up almost seven percent, and “Transportation” – responsible for almost six percent of school system costs. Due to the rise in costs for fuel, the system has found itself spending almost eight hundred thousand dollars ($800,000) in local monies to assist in providing system transportation.
Tom Maxwell – AM 1180 Chattooga County Radio