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DeKalb schools facing $24M shortfall in 2014
by LaTria Garnigan
February 07, 2013 12:21 PM | 3373 views | 1 1 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With a regular vote, as well as a runoff vote on Wednesday, the DeKalb County Board of Education has yet to formally choose a new chair. A quorum of five votes is needed to choose the next school board leader. Because of the stalemate, current board chair Eugene Walker — who received four votes in the runoff against Donna Edler who received three votes — will remain in the seat. The board has 30 days to make a final decision on the board chair seat.

Jim McMahan did receive a quorum vote and was selected as vice chair by Marshall Orson, Donna Edler, Melvin Johnson, and Sarah Copelin-Wood. McMahan, himself, was the fifth vote.

Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson, has been visibly absent from the last few meetings due to the death of her father. According to district spokeswoman Lillian Govus, Atkinson does have 30 days leave to use as she sees fit and is grieving the loss of her father.


The school district’s Chief Financial Officer, Michael Perrone, gave a financial update on fiscal years 2012-14.

In relation to fiscal year 2012, Perrone said that financial information has been submitted to the auditors, which will take about another two weeks to a month for them to review. He added the estimated negative $16 million general fund balance is an unaudited figure and is subject to change.

The district will have to submit a Deficit Reduction Plan in accordance with the Georgia Department of Education, as well as monthly financial reports until the deficit is eliminated.

So far for fiscal year 2013, Perrone said the school district has spent $392 million or 53.6 percent, and said it appears the revenue is close to what has been budgeted.

“Our average monthly expenditures need to be below $67 million,” he said. “And the good news is January was about $65.5 million — we are projected to have a positive fund balance of $5 million to $10 million at the end of the year.”

Although there is positive hope for 2013, in fiscal year 2014, Perrone is projecting a $6 million reduction, due to the recent reduction of teachers. Other factors included in 2014 are an estimated $6 million dollar increase of health insurance and a $12 million reduction (3 percent) in local tax revenue.

This will all add up to a projected $24 million shortfall for fiscal year 2014, according to Perrone.

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