Fulton, Atlanta schools cheer tax decision but warn targeted furloughs still possible

3:34 p.m Friday, Nov. 3, 2017 Atlanta Education News
Bob Andres/AJC
APS superintendent Meria Carstarphen shakes the hand of DeKalb County Judge Alan C. Harvey on Friday after he gave Fulton County permission to send tax bills.

Fulton and Atlanta school district leaders praised a judge’s ruling Friday that will allow tax revenue to begin trickling in but said finances through the end of the year will still be tight.

Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen said the district will pursue targeted furloughs for some employees but will try to avoid requiring days off that affect students or teachers. Central administration employees, for example, may not work during Thanksgiving break, she said. The district will also delay paying a one-time $500 payment promised to non-teaching staff in lieu of a raise until more money streams in, she said.

Fulton County Schools Superintendent Jeff Rose said the district will continue previously announced  spending cuts, a hiring freeze, a moratorium on field trips, and will delay a Dec. 20 employee payday until after Christmas. He said the district will assess day-by-day the need for furloughs, but like APS it will try to avoid cutting into classroom time if it determines days off are needed to make ends meet.

Fulton County tax bills -- and thus property tax money-- have been delayed because the state rejected the county’s tax digest. That put Fulton and Atlanta school districts, whose districts are dependent on Fulton County property taxes, in a precarious position with dwindling cash on hand.

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