“I’m very proud of this budget. I think that the team has done a great job,” Tinsley said.
The fiscal year 2024 budget totals about $2.5 billion, and keeps the district’s millage rate at 23.08 mills. That’s been the rate since 2019, Chief Financial Officer Byron Schueneman said.
The budget sets aside roughly $60 million for employee raises. That figure includes 6% raises for eligible employees and hourly wage increases for bus drivers, paraprofessionals and school resource officers. First-year teachers with four-year degrees can expect to see a raise of about $3,200.
The budget also funds additional employees, including 52 more psychologists, social workers and school nurses, 230 more teachers and 70 more custodians.
In an effort to address what one board member called a “backlog of capital projects,” the budget includes an additional $30 million to pay for deferred maintenance. The district has been particularly focused on the condition of its facilities after students at Druid Hills High made a video showcasing problems at their school last year and state officials intervened.
The budget allocation allows the district to “continue to focus on our buildings and making sure that our building environments are conducive to learning,” Tinsley said. Board member Whitney McGinniss encouraged the district to consider whether even more funds could be used for that purpose.
Board member Vickie Turner also pointed out that the budget is debt-free, since none of its current projects are funded by bonds.
“This presentation is worth celebrating,” Turner said Monday. “We accomplished what we were working toward.”
The district will hold public hearings about the budget and millage rate on June 12, and will approve the budget and millage rate after that. The date for that meeting has not been set. Fiscal year 2024 starts on July 1, 2023.