At their June regularly scheduled meeting, the Forsyth County Board of Education made final approval of the 2019 school district budget, approving hundreds of new positions and pay increases for the district.
According to a presentation to the board given by Chris Griner, Forsyth County School System chief financial officer, since the board tentatively approved the budget in May, nothing has changed beyond the tax digest revenues which the county has collected.
The 2019 school budget, totaling $444,292,749, is all the costs the system is expected to incur over the coming year, including 233 new positions and a 24.33 percent increase to teacher retirement rates.
Griner’s presentation shows that the 2019 budget is $38 million higher than last year's budget, and the majority of that increase has been budgeted for the new positions within the county, including 56 positions at the county’s two new schools, Denmark High School and Alliance Academy for Innovation.
Also reflected in the budget is an increase in school safety spending for new counselors, school advocacy specialists and $1.3 million to pay for an increase in county school resource officers.
When addressing the Board of Education in May, outgoing CFO Rick Gunn made a point to stress the fact that the majority of the 2019 budget has been allocated for instruction, including salaries, benefits and operating expenses.
With the approval of this budget and a positive return of the county tax digest revenues, the budget also includes a 1 percent cost of living adjustment for school district employees.
With Board Chair Ann Crow and District 4 Board Member Darla Light absent, the budget was approved unanimously by the remaining members following the presentation.