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Schools face budget woes
Called bare-bones by some board members
budget squeeze w sm
While The DeKalb County Board of Education cut more than $113,000 from its budget proposal in a workshop Thursday evening, the deficit for the 2013-14 proposal still demands that more than $1.4 million be drawn from reserves to balance the plan.The $20.6 million proposed spending plan was approved by the school board in a special-called meeting Thursday night after the workshop, and must now be sent back to the county commission's budget committee for approval.The school board made the cuts after the county budget committee made it clear in a recent work session that a request from the school board to appropriate an additional $350,000 from the local-option sales tax fund would not be granted.According to budget committee members, the local option, or “sinking” fund, already provides $1,540,000 annually for schools in addition to $605,620 that will be drawn from the fund this year to meet school debt-service obligations.Members of the budget committee cited fears that any further expenditures from the sinking fund would deplete the fund too rapidly, and would prove “unsustainable” over time. The budget proposal put forth by the school board Thursday night included the removal of the request for additional funds from the sinking fund, which was included in the board’s previous proposal.The board elected to trim the $113,000 from the plan, managing to cut several line items with no apparent cuts in current positions or programs.School system Central Office Payroll/Bookkeeper Teresa Miller outlined the new cuts at Thursday’s meeting.“Revenues have been reduced by the $350,000 that we had asked additional dollars from the sinking fund,” Miller noted. “That is the only revenue adjustment.“Regular Instruction Programs has been reduced by $54,260,” she continued.