DeKalb County School District – Budget 2012 – 2013

The budget passed on June 21, 2012 with the general fund budget set for $760 million with $8 million to be set aside for the depleted reserves. The following highlights of the budget include but are not limited to: a 1 mil tax increase, 2 additional furlough days for employees, an increase in class size (2) students in both regular and special education, the loss of 200 paraprofessionals and the loss of 20 interpreters. I stated at the meeting that budget cuts hurt as they do when you cut your finger. We don’t want to cut but we must because we are simply out of money!

Inquiry: Paul Womack, District 4 BOE representative and budget committee chairman asked “state investigating agencies” to launch a criminal investigation into the overspending that has taken place in past years. For example, during the past 2 years the district has spent nearly $60 million beyond what the BOE planned. The BOE approved a $775 million budget for the 2010-2011 fiscal year but spent $808 million. Mr. Womack contends such deep cuts that have to now be made would be unnecessary had spending levels mandated by the board in prior years been honored. Dr. Atkinson has called for a forensic audit to take place to be completed I believe a short time after the school year begins. Mr. Womack has a point but so as to not have a costly duplication of efforts, I propose we wait for the audit results.

Click on “Leave a comment” (top right) and let me know what you think.

Pam Speaks
Moderator February 24, 201310:53 pm

test from the admin

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7 Responses to DeKalb County School District – Budget 2012 – 2013

  1. Linda says:

    Now that the budget has been finalized and there will be furlough days for the teachers, I hope you will consider using student contact days where appropriate and allow the teachers to maintain as many of their teacher workdays as possible. Teacher workdays are planned for a reason and to take them away you are not only reducing the teacher’s pay, you are effectively requiring them to do work outside of the time they are paid.

    I have always believed that an instructionally sound school calendar should be built from an end date backwards. Since the state mandates the testing window, the end date should be the earliest possible day after all the testing is completed that allows for testing results to be returned to the school and handled before the end of classes. Building a calendar from the end backwards would allow for the maximum possible days of instruction prior to the state mandated end of year tests. So you should be looking at next years’ testing dates and determine the earliest date that could be the last day of school and any student contact days after that date should be fair game for furloughs as those days are often used for non-instructional activities.

    The current 2012-13 calendar has at least two days after the Memorial Day holiday that should be considered for furloughs – May 28th and 29th. Those two days of instruction will never be missed as they are after all the state mandated end of year tests. In the many classes where the curriculum has already been taught prior to the testing you will find these days after testing are used watching movies and doing other non-instructional type activities. These two days of instruction will never be missed. In the high school and middle school classes where students take a teacher prepared final, I am sure that most would prefer to do that before a holiday weekend rather than come back after the holidays for finals. Also, it is likely that these two days would have high absenteeism since for many years school finished prior to Memorial Day and families choose to take vacation during that holiday week.

    It may even be possible to use more student contact days as furloughs in the week prior to Memorial Day. This year we finished school on the Thursday before Memorial Day. If it is determined that testing results could be back in time to allow for the last day to be prior to Memorial Day, I think you should consider using even more student days at the end of the year. Any days you use after the state mandated end of year tests are far better choices then days prior to the testing period or teacher workdays.

    Instead of your first choice being to furlough the teachers on the workdays that they need, please look at furlough days on at least May 28th and May 29th, and if possible student contact days in the week prior to Memorial Day.

    Thank you for your consideration

    • Pam Speaks says:

      Thanks for the suggestions Linda. I did forward them to Dr. Atkinson for her review when you sent them I believe to the entire BOE a few weeks ago. Keep the suggestions coming they do help.

  2. A. says:

    Is there any word at all about what the pre K teachers and paras should expect?

    • Pam Speaks says:

      To my knowledge no official word yet but hopefully very soon so plans can be made.

  3. Fernbank says:

    Will there be an Advanced Studies program at Fernbank Science Center this Fall?

    The Board appears to have approved a reduction in the Fernbank budget:

    Which programs or courses at Fernbank will be cut?
    When will we know?
    Why isn’t there any information about this on the DCSS or Fernbank websites?

    Some students have signed up for Fernbank Advanced Studies instead of joint-enrollment at GA Perimeter.
    Now it is too late to opt for joint enrollment. If Advanced Studies is cut, we are leaving a whole group of science kids with no options.

    • Pam Speaks says:

      These are all good questions but they can only be answered by someone in the administration. My suggestion is to give Mr. Doug Hrabe, Fernbank Science Center Director a call or send him an email and I am sure he will share all of the information he has at this time.

  4. Ethan says:

    Hi, I’m a rising sixth-grader from District 4. I was wondering, is there a way to launch an online school for certain days of the school year, thus keeping teachers paid/students educated, but of course, we wouldn’t have to pay for the initial money it takes to run a school day. I know I probably don’t know much, I’m just wondering if I’m not the only one who thinks about this.