DeKalb school board gives tentative OK to budget with… |


DeKalb school board gives tentative OK to budget with… |

The DeKalb County school board gave a preliminary nod to interim Superintendent Michael Thurmond’s first school budget Monday, approving $759 million in general operating expenditures for the fiscal year starting July 1.

With two members absent, the board voted unanimously, though there was pressure by some members to cut a couple of Thurmond’s initiatives to either save more or give more to teachers.

Thurmond has been on the job since February, when predecessor Cheryl Atkinson quit. His FY 2014 budget is a sharp departure from the $78 million in cuts implemented by Atkinson and the prior board. They increased class sizes and imposed two additional furlough days (unpaid leave) on teachers while cutting library workers, interpreters, teachers aides and bus mechanics.

Thurmond’s budget utilizes new revenue to reverse some of that, eliminating one furlough day at a cost of $3 million while spending an additional $500,000 to hire back interpreters and $250,000 to restore bus mechanic positions. His budget also puts $1 million into an incentive program to encourage attendance by bus drivers and other support workers, with a bonus of $150 per employee for perfect attendance.

Thurmond also wants to spend $5.3 million to buy and restore books, and $1.5 million to upgrade back office computer systems.

Altogether, his proposed budget pours $14.5 million into such “enhancements” and puts $12.7 million in the bank.

Still, there are no pay raises for teachers nor decreases in the number of students per classroom.

via DeKalb school board gives tentative OK to budget with… |

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