The Walton County School District was awarded a 2023 Georgia School Boards Association’s Leading Edge Award in the area of Financial Resources. Acknowledged for effectively managing finances and leveraging resources to support student achievement, WCSD stands among the best, being one of only three districts out of 180 across the state to receive this recognition.
The nomination for the award highlighted the district’s commitment to sound financial management by aligning its yearly budget with the strategic objectives and needs of the district and supporting the District’s belief in planning, securing and allocating all resources (human, material and fiscal) effectively to meet the needs of students.
The statewide Leading Edge Award program highlights school districts that are leading the way in ensuring students are competitive in an ever-changing global market and recognizes the innovative design and implementation of programs that positively impact student achievement and engagement.
“It is an honor to be recognized by GSBA with a Leading Edge Award for our dedication to good financial stewardship because our team believes strongly in managing our finances to support student success,” said Superintendent Nathan Franklin. “Members of the Board and district leaders are committed to sound financial management and transparency to ensure effective and equitable expenditure of all resources while maintaining our stakeholders' trust.”
The Governance Team’s commitment to financial efficiency and proper management has provided the Governance Team the opportunity to reduce the millage rate in nine out of the last 10 years. The FY24 budget includes the lowest millage rate since 2003-04 and the largest mill reduction in at least 30 years. Their conservative financial management model enables them to provide competitive compensation, including consecutive five percent raises and market adjustments to attract and retain top talent while reducing the impact on Walton County citizens.
Year after year, WCSD continues to improve student achievement with district-high graduation rates, increased performance on Georgia Milestones that meet or exceed the State and continued success in AP and Dual Enrollment programs. WCSD’s success in balancing per-pupil spending in relation to the academic achievements of its students is supported by the District's ranking in the 93rd percentile of the state based on the last Financial Efficiency Star Ratings.
This is the fifth year WCSD has been honored with a Leading Edge Award. Previously, the school district was recognized in the areas of Teaching and Learning, Communication and Early Learning and School Safety.