Dekalb school board approves $962M budget

The DeKalb County Board of Education adopted a $962 million budget for 2016-17.

Highlights include:

• $8.9 million for decentralizing the central office and placing resources and decision-making closer to schools

• $19.5 million for across-the-board 3% pay raise for all full-time employees

• $16.1 million for growth in teacher allotments

• $3.8 million for signing and retention bonuses for teachers

• $1.9 million for improving the rigor, relationship, and relevancy in classroom instruction

• $ 2 million to ensure a nurse in each middle and high school

• $800,000 for increasing compensation for substitute teachers

• A reduction of the property tax millage rate by .35 mills to a total millage rate of 23.38 mills

• And leaving an estimated available fund balance of $124.4 million

“This budget continues the upward momentum over the past year to build trust with parents, students, employees, and the taxpayers of DeKalb County,” Superintendent Steve Green said in a press release. “In the past year, we have received full accreditation and established sound fiscal management, decentralized decision making that is closer to schools and students, improved academic growth and achievement, and developed a comprehensive plan for dealing with serious overcrowding problems in the Cross Keys, Dunwoody, and Lakeside clusters.”

“The E-SPLOST vote on May 24 when 71 percent of the voters in DeKalb County expressed support and trust in the District with the highest vote of support in the 20-year history of the E-SPLOST program,” Board Chair Dr. Melvin Johnson said. “The District will fulfill this mandate vote of confidence.”

The District serves nearly 102,000 students, 137 schools and centers, and 15,500 employees, including 6,600 teachers. The District’s students and parents speak over 140 languages and represent over 180 nations.