Several popular programs in Decatur schools would be saved but there would still be layoffs, according to the latest budget proposal released by city schools Superintendent Phyllis Edward.
Edwards released the budget proposal, including $2 million in cuts, prior to Tuesday’s school board meeting, where members are expected to vote on the measures.
The cuts, coming in the wake of a sour economy and state funding cuts, would take effect July 1.
The 2,800-student system will be the first in metro Atlanta to finalize its budget for the next, recession-hit school year. Among notable points in the proposal, which is the last of several drafts floated by Edwards as she sought public input:
• No cuts to the system’s popular foreign language program for elementary school students. Parents had strongly backed the program.
• Raises fees but does not close the Frasier Center, which was also strongly backed by parents and teachers. Frasier is a child development center located at Decatur High School. It serves children from six weeks to three years and is available to students, staff and the public. Edwards said the fees need to be raised enough to make the center self-supporting.
• Eliminates the jobs of four teacher aides in the fourth and fifth grades, among other job cuts proposed at the system’s middle school, high school and central office.
When considering those job cuts, according to Edwards, “the major emphasis of this proposal is to eliminate positions either by not hiring, by attrition or by eliminating part-time positions which are typically filled by individuals who are retired.”
Edwards also said the proposal does not include a pay raise, although teachers and staff would still qualify for so-called step increases — salary supplements based on an employee’s years of experience.
Tuesday’s meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the system’s central office, 758 Scott Blvd. in Decatur.
The proposed plan includes the following:
1. Add more trailers to 3 schools for next year
2. Then, turn Glenwood into a kindergarten through third grade campus and move fourth and fifth graders to a building expansion at Renfroe Middle School by 2010
MyFox5 has a video report by Justin Gray