MOULTRIE — This week, the Colquitt County Board of Education approved its budget for the upcoming fiscal year and for the third consecutive year rolled back the millage rate on ad valorem taxes.

“Once again we report to the public from a sound fiscal position. We have been able to address all requirements and more as we expand programs and services to our students. Rest assured, this will be true once again in July 2007,” Superintendent Leonard McCoy said.

The roll back is slight — down to 8.662 mills from 8.689 — but it demonstrates stability in the school district’s finances, according to a statement from the school system.

The Colquitt County School System maintains its sound fiscal position because of a strong local economy and increased state funding, McCoy said. He added that informed oversight from the school board continues to be a positive aspect of the responsible operations of the school system.

The general fund budget as approved lists estimated expenditures in the amount of $63,173,322.

Included in the budget:

• 4-percent increase in salary and wage schedules for all employees totaling $3,009,045.

• 18-percent increase in the cost of benefits for employees totaling $1,590,210.

• $598,354 of textbooks.

• Middle school alternative program implementation.

• The hiring of a graduation specialist to serve the high school.

• Eight regular school buses and one special education bus .

• Professional development activities.

• Improvements for media centers at Okapilco and Cox elementary schools.

• Improved software for the media centers of all schools.

• Computers for the media center at Colquitt County High School.

• Continued funding per school of $21 per full-time equivalent enrollment unit for technology totaling $170,000 (formerly state-funded from lottery receipts).

• Employee attendance incentive program.

• Furniture and equipment allocations for all schools.

• Instructional supply allocations for all schools.

• Development incentive for agriculture-related projects on Darbyshire Site across from Packer Park.

• Fuel (52 percent increase over previous fiscal year to $380,000).

• Computers for Gifted Program.

• New furniture for middle schools.

• Software for EDGE, Night School and credit recovery at Colquitt County High School.

• Transfer to capital projects of one mill equivalent totaling $674,000.

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