The Board of Education met Tuesday night in their regular monthly meeting with a large number of action items and a public hearing on the agenda.
The first item on the agenda was a public hearing of Bonnie McCarty, a long time bus driver with PSD.
McCarty spoke on behalf of several bus drivers present at Tuesday night's meeting angry at the eight day pay cut they will take as a re the instructional days taken off the calendar.
"The lowest paid driver is going to lose $528 out of the pay. That's $44 a month out of our pay checks," McCarty said.
She noted that most bus drivers had second jobs they relied upon for their primary income.
"The other issue is we have not asked for a raise and we have not gotten a raise in over five years," McCarty said. "The last raise we got was a one-time $750 pay raise which now is being taken back away, and we felt if we were going to but cut eight days pay we were going to ask for that and not ask the board to be given a raise."
McCarty went on to compare bus driver pay rates to other county employees and school bus drivers of other counties. Her speech was given a round of applause, but no action was taken to reverse the pay cut during the meeting.
The biggest item on the agenda was the approval of the final budget for FY 2012.
The school board voted 6-3 to adopt the final budget as presented by director of finances Alan Melson. Voting in favor of the budget were: Crystal Sproull, Tara O'Neal, Susan Berry, Tim Turner, Andy Fairel and Chuck Thaxton. Board members Jane Holbrooks, Tommy Sanders and Grady McCrickard voted against.
The budget presented to the school board during the meeting reflected a projected fund balance of $1.5 million at the current millage rate and $3.57 million with the tentative one mil increase.
The budget came at the end of a debates spanning months on how to make up severe cuts in funding from the state as well as projected cuts in local revenue from lowered property tax assessments.
Several board member including Tommy Sanders, Jane Holbrooks, and Chuck Thaxton said they did not feel like the money from the state was coming back, and more drastic measures may need to be taken in the future.
The final budget will be published once the final millage rate has been set.
Three public hearing meetings have been set by the school board for community input on the tentative one mil increase: Aug. 18, at 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and Aug. 25, at 6:30 p.m.
The public is encouraged to attend these meetings and to contact their board members to give input.
Other action items
The following action items were voted for unanimously by the school board:
* declaring 15 Northside Elementary lunch room tables surplus
* approval for an Eastside Elementary student to enroll in a Bartow County school based on Ga. rule 160-5-4-.09
* policy IHE Promotion/Retention
* policy JGCD Medication
* policy BHB Nepotism
* policy JCDAG Bullying
* the re-adoption of district goals and mission statement.
* approval of the student code of conduct handbooks.
The following items were tabled:
* policy GBBB Community Coaches
* single coverage health insurance for clerical workers with 10 years seniority
The following item was defeated:
The board voted down a recommendation for a new school nutrition position at Van Wert Elementary School 3-4 citing insufficient funds in the director of food services Dean Timmons' budget.
Sanders, Berry and McCrickard voted for the position, Holbrooks, Sproull, O'Neal, Fairel and Thaxton voted against.