Carstarphen made the remarks during a meeting with several dozen parents who gathered to talk with the superintendent about a variety of district topics. The district later sent out an email alerting employees to the possibility of furloughs for “some or all employees.”
At-large school board member and budget commission chairman Jason Esteves said furloughing employees is something the district will pursue as one of the “last options.”
He said the district is considering all maneuvers to resolve the cash-flow problem and to repay a $100 million loan the board authorized last month to help the district make ends meet until the delayed tax revenue comes in. The loan and $470,000 in interest and fees must be repaid by the end of the year.
“We are trying to determine how to pay back that loan. I can guarantee you we will because it’s required by law,” he said. “We are looking at various financial mechanisms to ensure that that loan is paid off.”
The district also will consider waiting until January to give a one-time $500 payment it has promised non-teaching employees in lieu of a raise, according to the email sent by Carstarphen.
APS initially intended to give all employees raises but in September scaled down that plan as part of an effort to trim $4 million from the budget after Fulton County's decision to largely freeze property values, which reduced the amount of revenue the district had projected it would collect. Teachers still received raises, but the district's other full-time workers were told last month they would instead get the one-time payment.
To receive tax revenue by the end of the year, tax bills would need to go out by Nov. 15 since in Atlanta taxes are due within 45 days.
Carstarphen pointed her finger at Fulton County commissioners.
“It’s a very serious situation. And let me tell you, if you want to get really informed and do something in this election season learn about those county commissioners because they are the ones making the decisions about this tax situation that’s putting us all in a very tight spot,” she said.