The Jackson County School System has the fourth weakest financial condition out of all 180 school systems in the state of Georgia.
The JCSS was $908,000 in the red at the end of FY2009. Only three other school systems in the state are deeper in the hole in terms of raw dollars — Laurens County at $2.8 million, Peach County at $1.5 million and Hancock County at $967,000.
Twelve school systems statewide, including JCSS, finished FY2009 in the red, meaning the systems have used all their undesignated reserves and are operating on a deficit basis.
The Jackson County Board of Education approved a plan in November for working out of its deficit position, including raising taxes if necessary to balance its budget.
The BOE attributed the deficit mostly to high overhead costs related to several new schools it had opened. The system has the state’s fifth highest maintenance and overhead costs on a per student basis at $1,012 per student.
The system also has a high cost for school administrative expense on a per student basis, ranking it 15th in the state in that category of spending.
Overall, the JCSS ranks 34th in the state out of 180 systems in terms of overall per pupil spending.
The state average is $8,895 per student; the JCSS spends $9,689 per student.