Polk Board of Education June 2019 regular session

Vice Chair Kristy Gober and Superintendent Laurie Atkins helmed the June 11 session of Polk County Board of Education.

Polk School District is the latest local entity to finalize and approve their Fiscal Year 2020 budget, and beginning on July 1, the $79.3 million in revenue and expenditures will become available for salary increases and other general improvements.

Each teacher in the district is being pledged a $3,000 raise, and certain classified employees are set to receive a four percent increase. Bus drivers, the PSD Police Force, and educators who double as department chairs or coaches will also soon receive pay scale increases.

Also, new employees will be joining the ranks of Polk School District, and there are plans to hire 10 new bus monitors for certain routes.

Employee costs such as these make up some 71.36 percent of the total budget, but the board is looking to make sure maintenance and general repairs are taken care of as well. More than $6.6 million will be spent on maintenance alone. Approximately $2.7 million is going towards transportation costs, and categories such as business and media are set to receive around $1 million each.

“We’re trying to make things a little better than they’ve been in the past years,” Superintendent Laurie Atkins said when the budget was still in a tentative phase back in May.

Alongside the FY 2020, the board approved some expenditures during the June 11 meeting. Cedartown High School students returning in August can look forward to new and improved roofing thanks to the board approving $713,807 in repairs and updates. Ben Hill Roofing and Siding Co. is the approved vendor and will be in charge of the project.

Updated heating, ventilation, and air conditioning all typically come with an updated roof, and at $749,000, Water Mechanical was selected as the vendor.

“It’s a long time coming, and I’m sure the students and faculty will be very appreciative of this,” Atkins said. “And these kind of go hand in hand. When you’re doing a new roof, you want to do the HVAC if it’s in need- and it’s in desperate need.”

The board also approved a slew of bids to make sure students are well-fed throughout the year. Many of the companies are returning and have proved themselves in the eyes of Polk School District already.

Samples Foods at $750,000, C.M. Tanner Grocery at $595,000, Osborn Brothers at $350,000, and Royal Foods at $40,000 were all accepted to participate in the school nutrition program, and companies such as Sanitech Chemicals and American Paper will be supplying cleaning and other general goods.

“These vendors have served us with excellent service, pricing, and quality products for the past year,” Atkins said.

Before closing with an executive session, the board approved a field trip for the district’s PEP students.

In March 2020, those in the program will visit St. Simon’s Island to participate in Georgia Studies activities. Atkins acknowledged it was early, but she said approving the trips in advance gives the classes time to raise the necessary funds.

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