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Board of Education tentatively adopts $1.76 billion budget

DULUTH -- The Gwinnett County Board of Education unanimously voted Tuesday to tentatively adopt a $1.76 billion budget for the 2010-11 school year.

The board will hold two public hearings in May before the final adoption of the budget. The public hearings will be held at 7 p.m. May 13 and 6 p.m. May 20 at the Instructional Support Center in Suwanee.

Because of a decline in state and local revenue, the proposed budget is about $250,000 less than the current budget.

Several cost-saving measures will be implemented to save money in the general fund, which is the largest fund in the school system's budget. It pays for the district's day-to-day expenses, including instructional costs.

The general fund will decrease by 4.1 percent to about $1.23 billion.

The largest decrease will be in the capital projects fund, which will decrease by about 56 percent to $142.9 million.

The reduction is happening because the district "front-loaded" its building plan in 2008-09 and 2009-10 with bond proceeds approved with the voters' reauthorization of the education special purpose local option sales tax.

Most of the new buildings have opened, and sales tax proceeds will be used to pay off the bonds used to advance the construction funding.