DeKalb schools get budget waiver

Georgia school board members on Thursday approved a request from DeKalb and two other school districts that will give them greater flexibility in how they spend their money.

The DeKalb, Clarke and Wayne school districts asked for a waiver from the state Education Department from rules that they spend at least 65 percent of their total operating expenses on classroom instruction.

The three districts asked for a waiver, citing financial hardships as a result of declines in state and local revenues in recent years. State officials say the current spending rules for school districts do not reflect recent cost increases for transportation, school nutrition and other services. State education officials have asked the Georgia Legislature to consider changes to the 65 percent rule.

State officials said they receive about 40 requests for waivers each year.