Return to Headlines

Henry County Board of Education Adopts Tentative Budget for FY22

CLICK HERE FOR FULL VIDEO OF BUDGET PRESENTATION

Submission Date: April 21, 2021

Release Date:  For Immediate Release

Contact: J.D. Hardin, 770-957-6601 ext. 01161, john.hardin@henry.k12.ga.us

(Release # 0051-04-2021)

Henry County Board of Education Adopts Tentative Budget for FY22 

Henry County Board of Education Adopts Tentative Budget for FY22

Combination of revenue sources and support from federal government helps to balance budget

HENRY COUNTY, GA – The Henry County Board of Education took formal action on Monday, April 19 to approve a tentative budget for FY22 which covers the 2021-2022 school year.  As currently proposed, the budget would be balanced with the use of federal funds at a total of $414.5 million.

After one of the most challenging years in the district and in public education in general due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Superintendent Mary Elizabeth Davis was able to prepare and recommend the FY22 Tentative Budget thanks to astute and fast-acting fiscal strategies deployed by the BOE in the midst of the unfolding COVID crisis a year ago.  The budget recommendations are only possible because of the solid adjustments made by the board for the FY21 budget which started the year with a $45 million shortfall when compared with the previous budget year.

The tentative budget approved unanimously by board members remains student-focused with a commitment to all employees and tight alignment with the district’s newly adopted five-year strategic plan.

Throughout the pandemic, both employees and students and their families have felt the strains of an education world that required navigating uncharted territory.  From the development of different learning models to the delivery of wrap-around, nutrition, and other key student-focused services, Henry County Schools, like other school districts in the state and country, has had to adapt in various ways to continue the delivery of a high-quality educational experience.

Included in the FY22 budget is a strong focus on investments in high-quality instruction and support services.  Currently, the balanced budget maintains low teacher-to-student ratios and allots new positions for the expansion of Impact Academy which will serve as the district’s virtual learning option for the 2021-22 school year.  There is also the procurement of writing and reading resources to invest in student literacy, support for an administrator cluster lead to support an integrated K-12 cluster experience, and a focus on the continuity of key wrap-around, nutrition, and afterschool services.

“This pandemic altered a lot about the previous year’s budget, including key services that our school community has come to appreciate and expect,” said Board Chair Holly Cobb.  “Thanks to an improved local and state tax digest along with support from the federal government, the balanced tentative budget we approved gets us closer to the pre-pandemic levels we experienced and tightly aligns our spending focus with our strategic plan.”

Moving into the FY22 budget, employees will see salary scales increased by one percent and the years of service step honored, which equates to another one to three percent salary increase for some employees.  Job families currently with starting pay below $15 per hour will see increases to their starting pay which will move all hourly job wages to above $9 per hour, with each hourly job increasing starting pay by a minimum of 50 cents per hour.  The latest adjustments for employees continue the board’s focus on competitive compensation for its workforce in order to ensure students have the best talent teaching, leading, and supporting their learning.  Currently, investments in a high-quality workforce comprise roughly 88 percent of the operating budget for the coming fiscal year.  The remaining general fund budget is allocated to maintenance and operations, student, transportation, and other support services.

One of the greatest issues facing school communities throughout the pandemic has been the need for an increased focus on mental, social, emotional, and academic health needs.  Additionally, student reporting in order to help maximize financial support from the three key funding sources – local, state, and federal – has become increasingly important for accountability and long-term revenue purposes.  As a result, the district’s FY22 budget provides for one mental health and wellness facilitator at each school as well as a student data clerk.

“Our board holds in high regard the health and safety of our students and staff,” said Superintendent Mary Elizabeth Davis.  “Through the use of federal funding, we have the chance to come out of this pandemic stronger than before and with robust support to support students with learning loss recovery efforts and the important support of their mental, social, and emotional health needs.  We remain committed to exceptional learning experiences for our students and families that have been maintained through the uncertainties we have navigated over the past year.”

Other key efforts to prepare to mitigate the learning disruption from the past 14 months, target intensified support and intervention needs, and bridge student gaps in learning and experiences are supported through the federal government allocation through the Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund.  District officials have begun the design of the multi-year federal funding allocation and will continue to keep the district website updated with details of that plan.

The board held the first of its two budget hearings on Monday, April 19.  The second hearing will be on Monday, May 10 at 6:30pm.

Other highlights of the tentative budget include:

  • Expansion of the facility management and operational footprint
  • Transportation infrastructure improvements
  • Data and accountability reporting expansion
  • Investments in the board of education’s strategic initiatives in STEM, mental health & wellness, and community engagement

For more information on Henry County Schools, visit www.henry.k12.ga.us.

###