Chief Financial Officer Steve Barnette gives Paulding County School Board members a financial update and budget projections April 23. Barnette told the board he is projecting the school district needs at least $15 million in new revenue from all sources in the 2020 budget merely to pay for enough teachers to allow the district not to increase class sizes.

Paulding school board members will meet in a new location but deal with an old issue Tuesday night, May 14.

The board is scheduled to hear a recommendation on employing school custodians Tuesday at 6:15 p.m.

They also will consider approving a tentative 2020 budget during the meeting at Paulding County High School at 1297 Villa Rica Hwy. in Dallas.

Superintendent Brian Otott is scheduled to present his recommendation that board members allow him to begin formal negotiations with a private company for its participation in a “hybrid” plan mixing public and private custodians.

District officials are scheduled to give their projections on the costs of different options using both the “hybrid” model and one which employs only school district workers, according to information on the school district website

The board voted in April 2015 to switch from its own custodians to a private company, Aramark, to provide all custodial services to Paulding’s school district administrative buildings and 34 schools.

Otott has said the district saw enough savings from the change in such areas as employee benefits to hire additional teachers.

However, board support for the company steadily eroded amid numerous complaints about alleged unsatisfactory work by Aramark — from dirty bathrooms to lack of equipment maintenance.

The contract with Aramark, for which the district spent $6.6 million in the 2019 budget, ends June 30.

Also Tuesday night, the board will consider approving a tentative 2020 budget which includes numbers based on latest projections, Finance Director Steve Barnette said.

Approval of the tentative budget will allow the school district to publish a legal notice about the budget numbers before the target date of June 11 for final approval, he said.

“(Tuesday’s meeting) will be the second public hearing on the proposed budget,” Barnette told board members recently. “The board will hopefully approve a tentative budget and we can advertise.”

The tentative 2020 budget of $295 million is a 7 percent increase from 2019. Current projections include at least 59 new classroom positions -- teachers, paraprofessionals and special education support positions -- which keep class sizes at current levels.

Barnette said he does not plan to present a budget that uses any of the district’s reserves to balance it.

“It’s really just for discussion purposes because it can be modified,” he said. “It’s really a draft of the (2020) budget that we can advertise and that will hopefully create more conversation.

“All that’s leading up to our June 11 target for hopefully the board approving the (2020) budget.”

The June 11 meeting also is set to include approval of a tentative property tax rate which is planned for final approval June 25, Barnette said.


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