“What we are simply trying to do with this policy is look at what the law is and make our policy a mirror of what the law is,” Superintendent John Harper said of the proposed changes to board policy ABCDA, following Monday’s back-to-back work session and business session.
He explained during the business session of the meeting, “Specifically, the board of education shall fill any vacancy which occurs on the board in accordance with state law and local acts of the Georgia Assembly. It shall be the duty of the superintendent to certify a board member to the secretary of state, the state superintendent and the governor.”
The board approved the first reading of a complaints and grievances board policy for non-certified employees.
“Essentially what we’re doing with this board policy is providing an opportunity for our non-certified employees to have appeals,” Harper said.
The board also approved the first reading for changes to the public participation policy, which will allow for the meeting to be moved to a specific time during the meeting as well as provide for an electronic sign-in for community members wishing to participate. If approved next month, community members would have the option to sign in for public participation at www.bartow.k12.ga.us by noon the day of a business session.
The work session Monday included the visit of Tax Commissioner Steve Stewart, who assisted Chief Financial Advisor Todd Hooper with his presentation on how the state’s new ad valorem tax will affect school revenue.
“[The ad valorem tax] will affect us as we get out to our budget, more so in the future than this year, but the way we collect ad valorem taxes off of automobiles is going to shift from a ‘birthday tax,’ … and that portion of revenue we collect is about 10 percent of our budget,” Hooper said. “That’s going to shift to an ad valorem title tax, which means rather than paying this ad valorem tax each year, you will pay it at the inception of which a vehicle is purchased.
“Keep in mind automobile purchases are subject to the economy. There’s going to be swings and shifts … so it will make budgeting somewhat difficult.”
Stewart added, “Starting March 1, we’re going to be doing payouts every 30 days because we’re going to be handling a lot more money … We’ll have to see how it goes, but we’re ready.”
Read the Feb. 10 edition of The Daily Tribune News for an in-depth explanation of the new state tax.
In other school news, the board approved its consent agenda, including the purchase of new technology, including system-wide HP switches, wireless access points and a wide area network upgrade to AT&T’s Ethernet service to better accommodate technology upgrades made at schools through the Striving Reader’s Literacy Grant.