Columbia County schools got the go-ahead Tuesday to take over financial oversight of parent volunteer groups.
School board members unanimously approved a plan that will bring the books of each booster club and Parent-Teacher Organization under school control.
Currently, schools already oversee the books of more than 60 percent of those volunteer groups, said School Superintendent Charles Nagle.
“Implementation and training to draw the others in will take a little time,” Nagle said, with the expectation that the transition will be complete by July, in time for the start of the 2013-14 school year.
School system Comptroller Pat Sullivan said she plans to meet with all school bookkeepers in preparation for the change so the bookkeepers who haven’t been handling the organizations’ books can network with those who have.
Though most schools already have oversight of the volunteer organizations’ books, some of those that are still independent have complained about the possible loss of parent control. That makes it more important for the school system to communicate those changes, Nagle said.
“We need to realize that these are volunteers that are benefiting us,” added District 4 trustee Roxanne Whitaker.
Board members also tentatively approved staff projections for the 2013-14 school year. With student population expected to increase by 400 to 500 next year, an additional 14.6 teachers will be needed, Nagle said.
The numbers of non-certified personnel – which includes lunchroom staff and teachers aides – are expected to decrease by one, Nagle said, mostly because Bel Air Elementary will close and its staff will be absorbed into Evans and Martinez elementary schools.
Trustees also tabled a bid on replacement of the HVAC system at Lakeside High School because it came in nearly $2 million more than the $5 million budgeted for the project, agreeing to Nagle’s request to give the plan further study.