Fulton school board says ‘yes’ to new budget

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

The Fulton County school board unanimously approved the district’s $2.1 billion budget Tuesday evening, which includes more money to recruit and retain employees and funding to keep its schools safe.

“I’m very proud of this budget,” said board vice president Katha Stuart before the vote. “I’m very proud that we don’t have any debt.”

Like some of its neighboring school districts, Fulton is putting millions toward employee raises and bonuses in hopes of staying competitive amid nationwide concerns that more teachers are unhappy and leaving the profession. More than $42 million will go toward a 5.1% pay increase for all eligible employees. The system will spend almost $15 million on 2% retention bonuses for returning workers. Just under $500,000 will go toward incentives for educators who take jobs at hard-to-staff schools and to teachers who refer them.

The budget will cover a 12-month period that begins July 1.

Total expenditures are up about 10% for the upcoming year, but the district expects to have a fund balance of more than $345 million by June 2024.

Fulton’s budget includes more than $10 million for safety and security. Instructional technology will receive more than $30 million.