The budget will provide additional resources to the curriculum and instruction in the following areas:
o Fine arts and foreign language programs to ensure equity across the district from elementary school to high school
o Investing about $1 million as part of a three-year, $3 million commitment in the district’s physical education department to reduce childhood obesity in Atlanta
o Investing $4 million in the district’s student support team, which exists in every school and is comprised of teachers, administrators, resource professionals and parents, who work together to improve student performance
o Providing enhanced technology and support for district classrooms to improve the reliability and use of computer equipment by students and teachers
o Expanding the Atlanta Virtual Academy, a tuition-free online learning program designed to increase the number of flexible learning opportunities and to increase the graduation rate
This budget also reflects a salary increase for the following district employees:
o All part-time and hourly employees will receive 5 percent increase in hourly rate
o Full-time employees who have not experienced a salary change in last two years will receive a step increase or equivalent
o Full-time employees who have not experienced a salary change in last four years will receive an additional step increase or equivalent
o All full-time employees will receive $1,000 one-time payment, with two exceptions: employees hired after Jan. 1 would receive only $500 one-time payment and employees receiving two-step increase would receive no one-time payment
The total cost of the pay increases is about $15 million, including benefits.
The district’s operating budget increase from $595 million in fiscal 2014 to $658 million in fiscal 2015 is primarily due to increased revenues from rising property tax collections and a small increase in the state’s education funding allotment to the district. The budget does not include a millage rate increase for residents or furlough days for district employees.
“This budget will impact our core function – to raise student achievement – by expanding the resources we provide to our students, schools and employees,” said district Superintendent Erroll Davis.