The Columbia County school system likely will have seven new graduation coaches for its middle schools and more money for its athletic programs next year.
These items were among several expenditures that the school board added to the 2007-08 budget, which gained tentative approval Tuesday.
The school system estimated the graduation coach expenditures at $424,600. However, $296,742 of these funds will be offset by a state grant, said Superintendent Tommy Price.
"You don't ever turn down grant money," he said.
He said the positions are guaranteed as long as the state funding is available.
The athletic improvement recommendations, which resulted from a study to improve the county's football programs and other sports, will total about $85,000. They include an additional planning period valued at $20,000 for each of the four high schools' athletic directors, $32,000 for an additional 11-month contract for one coaching position at each school, $14,400 for assistant basketball coaches for boys and girls teams, and $15,430 to give assistant coaches a 10 percent salary increase.
According to budget documents, the revenues are expected to exceed expenditures by $577,881 next year. Total revenues are estimated at $166,895,881, and total expenses are projected at $166,317,657.
Price said 90.3 percent of the proposed budget covers personnel costs. Fixed costs such as utilities account for 4 percent of the plan, and nearly 6 percent of the costs are for discretionary spending such as supplies and materials for pupils.
The school board is expected to finalize the budget at its June 12 meeting.
The school board also named two new principals and an assistant principal at three elementary schools. Revelle Cox, the assistant principal at Westmont Elementary School, will assume the duties of River Ridge Elementary School principal next year. Judy Bonadio, the assistant principal at Greenbrier Elementary School, was named principal at Riverside Elementary School.
Steven Cummings, an assistant principal at Chester Middle School near Charlotte, N.C., and an Augusta-area native, also was approved as the new assistant principal at Blue Ridge Elementary School.
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