county board of education

County schools superintendent Joe Windle, left, and board member Martin Johnson discuss the Tallapoosa County Board of Education's budget, which was approved for the 2019-20 fiscal year Monday.

The school system plans to be in the black with the largest budget in history as the Tallapoosa County Board of Education approved its 2019-20 fiscal year budget Monday. 

The projected overall revenues are $62,194,632 and the expenses are $61,143,405, according to chief school finance officer Tommy Thweatt. That gives the county an extra $1,051,227 in revenue.

The school board held a second budget hearing at its meeting before voting on it.

“It’s actually the largest budget in the history of Tallapoosa County, a little over $62 million,” Thweatt said. 

Capital projects in the budget are projected for $30,176,000. The projects include additions and improvements to Horseshoe Bend High School for $5 million; renovations to Dadeville Elementary School for $3,921,000; a new gymnasium and athletic improvements to Dadeville High School for $6.7 million and a new Reeltown Elementary School for $14,555,000, according to Thweatt.

“As I told y’all the other night if all of these projects don’t come in at $30.1 million, we’re going to be in a mess,” Thweatt said to the board. “We got to be real careful and make sure that they do that or all of our money will be gone.”

Thweatt said there is no money in the budget to put heating and air units in the Reeltown and Dadeville gyms. 

“Money will be pretty tight if we decide to (fund) that,” Thweatt said.

Included in the budget is a 4% pay increase for all employees. There are 347 employees, including about 180 teachers, who work in the Tallapoosa County School System.

The school system lost $75,000 in Title 1 funding for the budget.

“Last year it cost us about $55,523 in Pre-K funding from Title 1,” Thweatt said. “This year we’re spending $64,359 in Pre-K funding and it’s going to get worse as the years go on because (the government) keep sending us less and less money. That’s something we need to be cognizant of down the road.”

Other things highlighted in the budget included roof repair to Edward Bell Career Tech Center for $88,000 and the transportation department having “the best year ever.”

“We’re getting $1,900,651 to run the bus routes and pay the bus drivers,” Thweatt said.

Thweatt started the budget process in April and has to submit it to the state by Sept. 16. Monday night’s approval will help it get to the state on time, Thweatt said.