The Dekalb County school system is facing a budget shortfall of $73 million next year. To shore up the gap, Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson has proposed increasing the student-teacher ratio and boosting property taxes.
The deficit is largely due to declining property tax revenues. But Dekalb Schools’ spokesman Walter Woods says it’s also the result of increased health care costs and more than $40 million in under-budgeted funds.
“This is hard, fixed costs like fuel and equipment, utilities, things we have to pay every year. Those costs keep going up,” says Woods.