Superintendent Cliff Cole gave a "State of the Schools" address to members of the Paulding Chamber of Commerce during its monthly Cobb EMC Power Breakfast.
He said the district is increasing security after the school board voted to install security vestibules in 17 schools by the end of this school year and in two others during the following summer. Once complete every school in the system will have a vestibule, which is a secured entrance area. The cost of the 17 is $320,000.
“It is being proactive,” Cole said.
The district also is installing a stop arm camera system on its school buses. This will go into operation in Sept. 30 and every driver that passes a bus when the stop arm is out will be caught on camera and ticketed.
School officials did a one-day test last year, and they had 80 infractions, Cole said.
“It is very scary to see a child standing there and a car go by,” he said.
The district’s 252 buses travel about 13,500 miles daily while transporting about 18,000 students, he noted.
District Chief Financial Officer Steve Barnette spoke about the fiscal year 2014 budget which was passed by the school board at $206 million.
The budget priorities include sustainability through not using reserves; an increase in resources like textbooks; and increases in technology and transportation, including new buses, he said.
District leaders were able to reduce the number of furlough days for teachers by two days, bringing it to three.
“For the first time in four years the district is not relying on [reserves] to balance its budget,” Barnette said.