Some Forsyth County School Employees To Get Pay Raise | John Thompson

CFO Larry Hammel explains the 2023 budget.(Photo/John Thompson)

(Forsyth County, GA) The Forsyth County School Board is about to give some workers a raise.

During Tuesday’s discussion of the 2023 budget, Chief Financial Officer Larry Hammel recommended an hourly rate of $15 an hour for school system employees, such as janitors and cafeteria workers. They currently earn between $11.14 and $13.29.

Hammel explained that the salary increase is necessary to compete with the various retail chains offering a higher hourly rate. The school system would also add a pay increment and a 1% cost-of-living adjustment for employees. Certified employees, such as teachers, receive a raise of $2,650.

Even with the salary increases, the school system has no plans to increase the mileage rate.

“Local revenues have increased due to the influence of inflation on sales. State revenues are stable and will be impacted by the Governor’s $2,000 teacher salary increase and the absence of FY23 austerity cuts,” Hammel said.

The county’s tax summary grew more than 20% last year. Local tax revenues finance 54% of the budget, while the State finances 46%.

The projected budget for fiscal year 2023 is $578 million, 11.2% higher than the 2022 budget.

Hammel expects 272 positions to be added next year to offset countywide growth and the opening of New Hope Elementary School.

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The graph shows the distribution of the school(Graphic/Forsyth County School System.

It recommends keeping the 2022 mileage rate of 17.3 mils for maintenance and operations, but lowering the bond mileage rate from 2.418 to 1.418.

Hammel said the combined mileage rate would return to 2014 levels.

The CFO explained that the school system leads the 12 largest systems in the state with the lowest cost per student. Forsyth County spends just over $9,800 per student, compared to $18,000 per student in the city of Atlanta school system. Hammel said the system has maintained a five-star financial efficiency rating with the state for six consecutive years. He said it would have lasted eight straight years, but the state hasn’t issued notes during the pandemic.

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Forsyth leads the best systems in efficiency.(Graphic/Forsyth County School System.

The final approval of the budget will take place in June. The budget will come into effect on July 1.

Superintendent Dr. Jeff Bearden thanked staff and noted that the budget also reflects the unprecedented growth of over 600 students over the past few months.

If you have a current council in Forsyth County, contact John Thompson at [email protected]