Sunday, September 22, 2019

Oconee County Schools Ended Fiscal Year With $2 Million Budget Surplus, School Administrator Reported To Board Of Education

***Also Gave Update On ELOST***

Oconee County Schools ended the 2018-2019 Fiscal Year with a budget surplus of just more than $2 million, Saranna Charping, school system chief financial officer, told the Board of Education last Monday.

Part of the savings came from the state declared “holiday” on the system’s contribution to the employer match for employee health care benefits, Charping said in response to a question from Board Member Tim Burgess.

The remainder came from careful monitoring of expenses, Charping said, as the system “operated within the adopted budget.”

Charping’s report was part of the regular meeting of the Board. Charping also provided an update on expenditures and revenue from the Education Local Option Sales Tax.

Tax collections were up just under 1 percent for July compared with a year ago, following four months during which tax revenue was below those of the 2018.

During the meeting, the Oconee County High Schools Alumni Association presented $1,000 grants to Dove Creek Elementary School, High Shoals Elementary School, and Rocky Branch Elementary School to aid in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs at the schools.

Fiscal Year Report

Charping labeled difference between revenue and expenditures of $2,060,996 for the fiscal year ending on June 30 of 2019 as “great news.”

Board Members Wayne Bagley, Tim Burgess and Charping

The revised budget for the fiscal year was $78,102,665, with expenditures of $76,041,658.

Charping told Board Member Burgess that the “holiday” in payments saved the system about $250,000.

Governor Brian Kemp instructed local school districts in June to not make regular premium payments into the health insurance plan for teachers and their dependents.

The governor’s Office of Budget and Planning said the healthcare system had a surplus and the savings would help school systems around the state.


Charping’s report to the Board showed that Oconee County Schools received $649,549 from the 1 percent Education Local Option Sales Tax in July of 2019, compared with $643,181 in July of 2018, or an increase of .99 percent.

June collections were down 7.77 percent from a year earlier, and they were lower in each of the previous three months as well.

The average for the last 14 months was a positive 6.69 percent increase over that same month a year before, Charping told the Board.

Collections for the current Education Local Option Sales Tax (ELOST V), going back to January of 2018, now stand at just under $12.2 million, Charping’s report to the Board shows.

The school system sold bonds against anticipated revenue (producing $23.5 in revenue), and has already spent just under $38.3 million on school projects, including construction of Dove Creek Elementary School ($16.7 million), expansion of and upgrade at Oconee County High School ($9.5 million), and track resurfacings and artificial turf at both high school stadiums ($2.4 million).

Oconee County Schools has made $1.3 million in bond payments to date and is scheduled to make a $6.1 million bond payment in calendar year 2020, with current revenue available of $5.5 million for that payment.


Lynn Wood from the Oconee County High Schools Alumni Association awarded the grants to Dove Creek Elementary School, High Shoals Elementary School, and Rocky Branch Elementary School at the beginning of the recognitions sections of the Board of Board of Education meeting.

The Alumni Association supports the academic excellence, best interests and traditions of Oconee County Public Schools. The award money will be used for a submitted list of items, equipment and/or supplies needed by that classroom.

The Board also recognized the AAAA State Runner-Up for Boys Golf at North Oconeee High School.

Awardees were Jackson Thebeau, Joseph Devaney, Michael Murray, Marcus Reynolds, Luke Jarvis, Ford Haynes, Daniel Mason, JT Rogers, Tripp Kelly, Luke Koenig, Kalen Qadri, Dino Sposato, with Coach Kevin Stewart.

The Board also recognized the AAAA State Champion Soccer Team at Oconee County High School.

Awardees were Daniel Castro, Gabriel Valdes Gaona,Victor Hernandez, Matthew Loftin, Ben Maddux, David Burke, Hawkes Corbett, Zach Morin, Luca Rocha, Ben Munneke, Luca Peroni, Luke Davis, Ashton Davis Ayres, Ricardo Ruiz Ibarra, Dylan Kapczynski, Carter Nichols, Adair Valdez Gaona, Zack Kusiak, Jordan West, Hunter Andrews, Owen Hallauer, Tyler Lewis, Samuel Ruiz Ibarra, Seoho Kim with coaches Chris Romano and Matthew Smith.


The video below is from the Sept. 16 meeting of the Board of Education.

Board Chair Tom Odom usually calls the meetings to order, but that task was handled by Superintendent for the Day Mary Webb, an eighth grader at Malcom Bridge Middle School.

Webb had shadowed Superintendent Jason Branch for the day and ended her duties with the Board of Education meeting.

Recognitions begin at 1:20 in the video.

Charping begins her report at 31:57 in the video.

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