On May 8, the Henry County Board of Education approved its 2023-2024 budget, which focused on compensation and strategic programming. The $510 million general funds budget maintains the consistent millage rate, an increase in per-student spending of $11,677, and more than 40 new teachers’ positions, with six dedicated to an increase in exposure to middle school orchestra.
“The strength of our local economy coupled with our Board of Education’s sound financial management and investments were the driving forces behind a budget that allows us to address critical objectives such as competitive compensation, staffing increases, and investments in key initiatives of our Community-Inspired Strategic Plan,” said Superintendent Mary Elizabeth Davis. “This budget allows us to continue to invest more in students while we also grow as a competitive employer.”
In the new 2023-2024 budget, the board of education targeted employee compensation by increasing teacher salary by 7.1% and raising the starting teacher salary to $48,410 with an additional 3-15% increase for other employees. In addition, paraprofessionals, campus safety monitors, clinic aides, and school nutrition assistants see a rise in hourly rates, including bus drivers’ hourly rates will now start at $19.79.
“Providing the best possible learning environment for Henry County students was our top priority in developing this budget,” said Board Chair Annette Edwards. “I believe that is reflected in our historic investment per student, as well as our eagerness to go beyond state investments in compensation to ensure we attract and retain the highest quality educators and support staff.”
In addition to the general funds budget being passed, the special revenue fund and capital projects funds were also approved with safety and security enhancements, facility growth projects, assets growth and replacements, and instructional resources.
“As Henry County continues to grow and thrive, we believe this budget enables our schools to continue to grow and thrive,” said Vice Chair Sophe Pope. “Our community deserves the best when it comes to the safety and quality of our schools, and this historic budget directly addresses those priorities.”
Henry County Schools is the eighth-largest school district in Georgia, consisting of 52 schools, including two academies, located about 20 minutes south of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.