The system collected $530,588.10 more from SPLOST II than originally anticipated, bringing the total SPLOST II amount to $26,780,588.10. Floyd County was projected to receive $48 million from the tax used to fund a new Pepperell High School and extensively renovate Main Elementary School.
The extra funds will be used to empty and renovate the pool at Rome High School. Money will also go toward a new camera security system at both Rome Middle School and RHS.
“SPLOST is very good to help keep the school system in great shape for the public,” Rome City Schools Superintendent Gayland Cooper said after the board meeting Tuesday, adding that approximately 40 percent of the penny sales tax is contributed by visitors who use services in Floyd County.
Rome City and Floyd County started collecting money for SPLOST III as soon as SPLOST II ended in March; however, it takes a couple months for the state to track and report revenue from the one-cent sales tax.
The centerpiece of the new tax is a new Model High School for Floyd County and a new Anna K. Davie Elementary for Rome.
The Rome Board of Education discussed its Summer Opportunity Program during its regular meeting. It is funded by federal stimulus money and provides 20 extra days of instruction to students struggling in certain subjects.
This is the first time the Summer Opportunity Program has been offered and just more than a fifth, or 1,044, of Rome City’s K–8th-grade students are participating. It runs until June 24 from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. each weekday.
After the meeting the school board had a special work session to read through their proposed 2009–2010 fiscal year budget for the first time.
The proposed budget will be read a second time in front of the City Finance Committee in the Sam King Room on Thursday at 10 a.m. A final reading will be presented June 29.
at 7:30 a.m. at the Rome City Schools Administrative Building.
For their proposed 2010 fiscal year budget, the school board agreed to cut 12 teacher positions and trimmed the superintendent’s salary by approximately 10 percent.
Following a series of budget cuts from the state, Gov. Sonny Perdue extended the maximum classroom size by two students. This extension allowed Rome City to hire fewer teachers in 2010.
“Everything was done through attrition,” said Cooper after the school board held a special budget work session. “We had retirees and those who moved away from the community, and I did have to transfer three or four teachers (from one school to another).”
Instruction makes up 74.4 percent of Rome City’s budget and was reduced by close to $1 million for FY 2010.
“I don’t think any students or parents are going to see any difference in the level of instruction next year,” said Cooper.
The decision to reduce Cooper’s salary from $172,045 back to his FY 2008 salary of $154,009 was suggested by Cooper himself after it was announced no state employee would receive a salary increase.
The budget also reflects a reduction of $66, 852 in State Health starting in January 2010. The system will no longer pay a portion of the employee’s premium.
Federal funding for the Rome City nursing program was cut, so while the school system increased spending for the program by over 100 percent, the number of elementary school full-time nurses was cut from eight to five.
Overall, the total budgeted expenditures were reduced by 1.88 percent, or $847,571, from 45,111,787 in FY 2009 to 44,264,216 in FY 2010.