DeKalb Schools administration went back to the drawing board and has come out with a new 2020-2021 school Calendar. The first semester ends before Christmas Break, the second semester ends in May and there are 9 furlough days (calendar reduction days).
The Board of Education will meet Monday July 20 to discuss and vote on this calendar.
DeKalb Schools is a jobs program. In a discussion about FY2021 Budget Considerations, the Board was told that the “foundation of that budget is to keep employees working…and not contribute to the unemployment rate.” Over 80% of the budget is salaries. Either the school district has to cut people and programs, or everybody has to take a haircut on their salaries. The school district is choosing furlough days for all employees.
LOSS – $27.5 million – DeKalb Schools Board of Education approved a settlement in the GOLD Case (Tax Shelter Annuity – TSA Case) for $117.5 million over a 5 year period. First payment of $27.5 million is payable at the conclusion of the court approval process and expiration of the appeals deadline.
GAIN – $31 million – Local revenues are up. DeKalb Schools administration is recommending to the Board no change in the millage rate for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. The school district is expected to collect $31 million more in local revenue this year than it did last year.
GAIN – $33 million – CARES Act – The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The bulk of this money will be used to buy Chromebooks, cover infrastructure and sanitation needs and buy back 1 furlough day for all employees.
LOSS – $54 million – State revenues are down. The state is cutting the education budget by 10%. This will be a reduction of $54 million in state revenues.
LOSS – $10 million – With local revenues going up, DeKalb Schools will pay $10 million more for their Local Five Mill Share. The State Legislature built in the requirement that each school system taxes their district five mills, or five dollars for every 1000 dollars of property value. That money goes to Categorical Grants including the Equalization Grant. The idea is to provide money across Georgia for poor districts. Ironically, Gwinnett is considered the poorest district in the state and receives more Equalization Grant money than any other district.
$3,500,000 – Cost of 1 Calendar Day Restored for school-based personnel
$500,000 – Cost of 1 Calendar Day Restored for central office personnel
The typical 180 instruction days has been reduced to 174 days. The typical 190 work days has been reduced to 181 days. First day of school is Monday, Aug 17, 2020. Last day of school for students is May 20, 2021.