School district looking at shortfall in 2013

SUWANEE -- The school board got a glimpse Thursday at the Fiscal Year 2013 budget, an update that showed a projected $89 million deficit if trends continue.

Chief Financial Officer Rick Cost presented the numbers during the monthly regular work session, outlining the areas in which money could fall short in the future.

Cost said the numbers are based on the growing population of Gwinnett County Public Schools as well as a shrinking tax digest.

He said the projected shortfall was based on the FY 2012 budget of $1.7 billion.

With a combination of cuts from the state and declining tax revenues, "we're going to need almost $90 million to continue."

He said the projection "assumes that we continue to get the money we're currently getting from the state right now."

He added that a continued decline of Gwinnett County's property tax digest values by more than 7 percent, or $36 million, played a large part.

The projected shortfall anticipates a loss of the remaining federal stimulus funds that were used to balance the FY 2012 budget.

In addition, increased costs for retirement and employee benefits will negatively impact the district's budget.

Said Cost: "The state used to supplement the cost of those employees. They've cut that out of the budget."

Cost said funding new teachers for the estimated growth of the student population could set the district back another $4 million.

The board could discuss in upcoming work sessions how best to handle the shortfall.


HonestIngine 3 years ago

If Georgia would quit educating the illegals, there wouldn't be a shortfall, but instead a surplus. Alabama's legislature last year passed a law similiar to this and guess what...Illegals, have left the state, there is money for teacher raises(since we havent had one in years), and no overcrowding. Rice, Coleman, Marin, all need to wake up and pass some legislation that the voters want, instead of cutting HOPE from our children.


Sthrnldy 3 years ago

It is not just illegals - it's kids from other counties whose parents don't own a home here as well. Dekalb and APS are exporting kids to GCPS due to their horrific school systems. GCPS needs to have much tougher attendance restrictions in place. Gwinnett taxpayers are being cheated by allowing kids that don't belond here to attend. The ones that are really being wronged are GCPS students whose are suppose to be here.

Parents need to be vigilant and report any and all potential offenders to GCPS office. Write your school and let them know as well. Don't stop letting them know that they are cheating taxpayers and their children that belong here.


Begedaddy 3 years ago

What about having the people that rent apartments pay a school tax just like those that own a home? Because of the economy more people have started renting vs buying a home.


JV 3 years ago

An $89 million deficit? You gotta be kinding! Boy the BOE is just the BOC. They are like pouring money down the drain. The BOC just manipulated the voting in of the E-SPLOST and the BOE still doesn't have enough money. Makes no sense at all!


LarryMajor 3 years ago

What he means by “deficit” is that projected revenue will be $89 million less than required to keep items funded at the current level – which is already seriously reduced. The state reduced student funding by over $113 million just this year. We get $1.5 million less in state transportation funding than we did eight years ago, but are legally obligated to transport nearly 50% more students. Keep in mind that all this time, as a group, Gwinnett taxpayers pay 20% LESS in school taxes than we did three years ago because the BOE has not raised our millage rate.

Please do not confuse the actions of our BOE with the less than frugal actions of our BOC.


BuzzG 3 years ago

It's never enough. It'll never be enough. It is time for school vouchers. Let us send our kids to the school of our choice. Competition is the answer. This Soviet style school system where the government tells you where you must send your kid, is not working.

School vouchers would allow us the opportunity to send our kids to efficient schools. Inefficient schools would shrink and die. Effective schools would grow and prosper.
But the teachers won't allow that. Teachers are our kids' biggest enemies.


Kent 3 years ago

We can no longer afford health care and retirement benefits paid to government workers. I know of state employees who retire and actually make almost the same money with their pension as they did while working. Why can't the people with children pay taxes directly correlated with the number of children they have in the schools? Look at the waste of taxpayer money with opulent school buildings and AstroTurf. The illegals and anchor babies are costing a mint, and add to that we have to supply staff who are bilingual. All that "free federal money" is drying up and the BOE foolishly builds a budget based on projections which we can no longer afford.


Sthrnldy 3 years ago

GCPS is too heavy at the top as well. Too many people at the central office and too many administrators in the schools. Special teachers like ESOL. We also have too many special education kids who parents need to pay extra for the daycare they are receiving. Have you ever been to Target or Walmart during the day to be interupted by Special Ed teachers with their "students" running errands on the taxpayer dime. They call it life skills, but it is really a way for the teachers to get their shopping in while looking for a diversion for their job at school. Any extras or services over and above the norm should be paid by the parents.

Parents are also becoming increasingly aware and outraged of the kids that are "crashing" our schools that don't belong here. We have too many people cheating the system, and the taypayers and their children are the ones paying the price. Charge tuition for anyone that shouldn't be here or and add on a fee for cluster invaders. GET OUT if you can't pay for it!

Let GCPS know that they are to serve our kids, the taxpayers children! Fix what is broken and then you can publically whine about your financial shorfall!


OutofMoney 3 years ago

As the previous blogger stated. Heavy at the top. Let me add way too heavy at the top. This system know where the waste is but chooses to ignore. There are way too many bosses making well over 6 figures a year. Why is the money not placed where it needs to be on the teachers, rather than on bias land purchases, and bigger and bigger ISC building.

Take a good look BOE. it is right in front of your nose.

I even spoke to a bus driver the other day who told me she is allowed to drive her bus home and to her other job when she is not driving. How can a school system allow this to happen. I saw this person shopping in Barrow County, where she says ahe lives. REALLY.


jack 3 years ago

But if we keep voting for E-SPLOSTs, our property taxes won't go up.



ssilover1 3 years ago

Please. Think about what you are writing. The district employs almost 22,000 people. Way too heavy at the top? Do your research. What operation that you KNOW about can operate as lean as this one? And sadly, will be leaner. Tax base is not so good in GC. The cuts in operations go from the classroom to the top and every department or division in between. Don't think that is true? Then talk to the CFO or a board member. Don't rely on your ballfield neighbor or some of those who don't really understand the budget. Stick to what is fact and then, if you have REAL solutions about how to make the money go further, get on a committee with the superintendent. Your input is welcome. Don't think so? When did you try to give any other than writing a one way gripe in this blog?


OutofMoney 3 years ago

ssilover1 numerous times. It falls on deaf ears. This is a system that does not want to hear solutions, they feel they have them all. Many of these bloggers have gone and presented to the BOE or the superintendent.

There are many professionals in Gwinnett County who could and would help if asked. I feel the problem is the ISC does not want the public to really know. Please don't say I and the public have the right and can see all that the BOE does. Really, do we?

That is a serious question. This is a big corporation. Ask people who know how to run big corporations how they are able to do this year in and year out.


ssilover1 3 years ago

OutofMoney, with all due respect, there are no CEOs of any size company much smarter than the district CEO and CFO. You have no idea how respected an economist Mr. Wilbanks is. But, I realize my comment falls on deaf ears. What I will say, is that the "many professionals in Gwinnett County who could and would help...", please. He works with the best the NATION has. And, he KNOWS how to rum a big corporation. Big Corporations have tough times, too, and they don't have to rely on a tax base. Start spending your money and think of it as a donation "to the kids"--j/k. The issue with education budgets is far beyond a simple solution.


Mack711 2 years, 12 months ago

There are a lot of CEO's cutting the 'fat' at the top levels in order to save momey. These compainies are still in business, and doing well for the most part. Why do we have to have so many administors in the school system with higher salaries than that in the private sector. Having worked for a company that employees over 250K when the market fell the high paying jobs in administration were the first to go. Do that here and balance the budget with what you have coming in soon the tax base here in Gwinnett will 'dry up'.


ssilover1 2 years, 12 months ago

GCPS did not wait to cut where it could. Beginning in the early 2000s they began the cuts, yet have surpassed the academic growth targeted. That is not a fluke. It has taken the knuckle bearing hard work of every employee. They will stand up and do more with less, once again. This is not new to GCPS. You are seriously mistaken if you think cutting certain positions are the answer to saving money. That is a very short sighted approach to corporate planning.


Sthrnldy 2 years, 12 months ago

With your multiple posts in defense of GCPS at every turn, one would guess you are an employee and your livelihood depends on spinning the "facts" the way you see them. Sorry, but more, much more cuts can be done.

First and foremost, GCPS needs to stop educating those that don't belong here. Less students, means fewer administrative jobs. The numbers game that GCPS plays to get government funding per student is sickening.

Gwinnett taxpayers and their children are getting screwed no matter how you cut it. Keep up the PR spin, no one is buying it!


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