FoCo Board of Education ready for your questions about $585M budget

John Thompson
Chief Financial Officer Larry Hammel explained the 2023 budget in May.(Photo/John Thompson)

(Forsyth County, GA) The Forsyth County Board of Education will approve its record expense of $585 million in the 2022-2023 budget by the end of June.

The district announced last week a schedule for millage rate hearings and budget discussions:

  • June 21 - regular 6 p.m board meeting for tentative budget and millage rate approval
  • June 21 - called board meetings at 8:30 a.m. for budget discussions, and 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. for millage rate hearings
  • June 28 - called board meeting at 5 p.m. for budget discussions, 5:30 p.m. for millage rate discussions, and 6 p.m. for final approval of the budget and millage rate

The district is receiving more than $4 million in additional revenue from state and local sources, said Communications Director Jennifer Carriciola.

With the additional funds, Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Bearden said teachers would receive additional raises.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jeff Bearden(Photo/Forsyth County School System)

“If passed by the Board of Education as presented, a beginning teacher with a bachelor’s degree would start at $50,746,” shared Dr. Bearden. “This is a huge step forward for us. FCS is the fifth largest district in Georgia and continues to lead the state in academic performance. We must remain competitive with surrounding school districts in terms of salaries and benefits to not only recruit the best but also to keep the best.”

The updated June 3 budget features an additional $2,000 increase for teachers. The budget tentatively approved a $2,000 raise for teachers during budget discussions in May. The combined $4,000 increase will be for the 2022-23 school year.

Bearden said employees eligible for a step increase will receive an additional increase as well. All other employees (certified and classified) will receive, at minimum, a $2,000 increase, plus a 1 percent cost of living increase.

“For those of you who live in Forsyth County like me, you have likely seen an increase in your projected property taxes,” shared Dr. Bearden. “Why? The market has driven property values to historic levels. The increase is not a result of the school district. However, we understand the challenges of our economy, and have lowered the debt services millage rate to ease the burden for taxpayers.”

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I've been writing articles around the metropolitan region for 30 years. My work has appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the NY Post, and other regional newspapers.

Senoia, GA

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