Georgia Lawmakers Chiming in on School Budgets in the Peach State

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As the head of school operations, Dennis Cain knows how expensive it is to fill up the tanks of Thomas County's 60-bus fleet.

Dennis says, "We have a 10,000 gallon diesel tank and we fill it up approximately every two, two and a half weeks. We average about 3,000 gallons a week with our buses."

Under a proposed bill that's being kicked around by Georgia lawmakers, 65 percent of school budgets would go to in-class costs, leaving only 35 percent of the budget to cover costs like busing, lunches and teacher training, but the Thomas County schools finance director, Joey Holland, says if passed, the new requirement won't break the bank.

Joey says, "We certainly think the law has good intent."

Holland says the Thomas County school system's budget already puts 65 percent towards in-class costs, but says he can see where it could be a problem for other systems.

Holland says, "A rural system would have more transportation costs than a city system so they'll have more in the total so it may be hard for a rural system to meet that 65 percent."

If passed, the law would be effective beginning in the 2008 fiscal year. In-class costs that would be covered under the proposed 65 percent rule include teacher salaries, supplies and field trips.