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BOE set to OK $1.76B GCPS budget

SUWANEE -- The Gwinnett County Board of Education is scheduled to vote Thursday evening on the school system's budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

In April, the board tentatively adopted a $1.76 billion budget for the 2010-11 school year. Because of a decline in state and local revenue, that budget is about $250,000 less than the current budget.

The school board's vote will take place during the 7 p.m. monthly business meeting at the Instructional Support Center in Suwanee. At 6 that evening, the board will hold the second of two public hearings on the budget.

During the first public hearing last week, one person thanked the board for being fiscally responsible. No one spoke against the budget.

For the upcoming fiscal year, several cost-saving measures -- including three furlough days for most employees -- 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 and salaries.

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

The largest decrease in spending will be in the capital projects fund, which will decrease by about 56 percent to $142.9 million. That fund pays for school construction.

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.

To view the complete agenda for Thursday's meeting, visit www.gwinnett.k12.ga.us/board.nsf.