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Political Debates
Do you plan to attend any of the political debates planned throughout the county in the coming weeks?

The Dade County Board of Education held a special called board meeting and work session last week at the central office. This meeting was scheduled because of conflicts with the usual Monday meeting.

Jeff Forester was the only BOE member unable to attend the Thursday night meeting due to a last minute conflict.

The main item of the night was the FY15 budget. On a motion by David Powell and second by John Warren the Board approved the advertising of the budget and that the millage rate would be set at a meeting to be held July 30th at 5 p.m. The meeting will be at the Board of Education office at 501 Tradition Lane, Trenton.

With the approval of the budget the Board approves the rollback millage rate of 15.128. That rate will generate $5,903,387 in local taxes. That is a reduction of .042 mills from last year’s rate of 15.170.

The reduction in the millage rate eliminates the need to hold hearings on the rate and the final approval will come at the July 30 meeting.

This budget shows a negative $95,460 in revenue that will be made up from the Board’s reserve fund they have accumulated over the past few years. Current projections show the system will have just over $2 million in reserve after the FY15 budget year.

This decrease in millage comes after two consecutive years of increases. In 2013 the rate was increased by one mill to 13.920 and then in 2013 was increased to 15.170 mills.

The budget of all funds for the Dade County School system for FY15 is $16,756,300.

A number of discussion items were on the agenda. Board training, nine hours per year are required, was discussed briefly with Superintendent Cherie Swader recommending that if possible that should be delayed until the new board member or members are elected so they can take part.

Renewal of several contracts was discussed including e-Board at a cost of $12,500 (less a $2,500 discount) for purchasing the entire package. This is the same as last year’s cost.

An agreement with Dalton State for student teachers was also discussed along with contracts with North Georgia Pediatric Therapies, Family Resource Agency Head Start/Early Head Start/Pre-K Program as well as the Head Start Transition Agreement.

Due to changes with state requirements the Board policy on graduation requirements will need to be changed from a semester policy to a full year policy. Also a change in the number of credits will be changed from 24 to 23.

This policy change will be approved after tabling for 30 days.

A change order had been submitted for paving the parking lot near the practice field and field house but came in at over $188,000. All BOE members thought that figure was too high and asked Superintendent Swader to bid it separate to see if they could get the work done for less money.

Other items discussed were the purchase of a floor scrubber for Davis Elementary, Odysseyware contract renewal and suggestions from Georgia School Boards Association on insurance.

All the discussion items will be voted on at the next board meeting that has been set for July 21.

The only action item besides the budget was asbestos abatement at Dade Middle School and Davis Elementary. The Board had approved installation of new tile at those two schools and asbestos was discovered when work began.

The work description at the two schools includes removal and disposal of 3,308 square feet of asbestos containing black mastic and associated floor tile at Dade Middle School; removal and disposal of 338 square feet of asbestos containing floor tile and mastic at Davis Elementary.

The work also includes all facilitation of asbestos removal, all aspects of acquiring contractor plus clearance sampling and final reporting including collection waste manifest and air clearance sampling for both sites. The cost for this removal will be $10,500.

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