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DeKalb schools budget an extra $12 million in red

DeKalb schools budget an extra $12 million in red

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. -- The DeKalb County School Board members received shocking news on Monday night that the system faces another $12 million dollars in cuts on top of the $73 million dollar hole they've spent weeks trying to fill.

The panel tabled a vote on the budget after learning the news they now have to consider $85 million in budget cuts.

"Based on some new figures from the county that the tax digest would actually be worse," said Walter Woods. 

"The original projection was 6 percent lower, when it's actually 9 percent lower," Woods said. "We'd have to account for another $12 million in the budget."

That now brings the total budget gap to $85 million; but who does it affect?

Here are some of the areas already on the chopping block:

Ga. Connections Academy gets high marks from parents

Ga. Connections Academy gets high marks from parents

ATLANTA -- Georgia Connections Academy has made the grade.

The state's first free virtual charter school received very positive feedback from the parents of its students during the 2011-12 school year.

Almost 90 percent of the parents who responded to a survey gave the school a grade of either A or B, and 92 percent they would recommend GACA to other parents. Eighty-five percent of parents said they were more satisfied with GACA than with their children's previous schools.

About 52 percent of the school's 610 families responded to the survey, according to GACA officials.

"Our parent satisfaction survey really illustrates our commitment to accountability," principal Heather Robinson said in a statement. "We value this parent feedback and use it to help make our virtual school program better. I am very pleased with the results, in particular the positive feedback about our teachers and the curriculum."

School districts cut jobs, boost class sizes

School districts cut jobs, boost class sizes

ATLANTA -- School districts are cutting teachers, enacting furloughs and increasing class sizes to fill budget holes.

RELATED | Local school budgets cuts are the new normal

The Atlanta school board has approved cutting 375 positions and giving employees four furlough days next school year. The district is trying to make up for an expected $47 million shortfall.

In Gwinnett, the budget includes two furlough days and 600 jobs cut from the payroll. It also means two more students per classroom.

As Students End School Year, Boys & Girls Clubs Offers Way to Fight “Summer Brain Drain"

ATLANTA -- This month, millions of kids begin their summer breaks, looking forward to vacations, pool time and carefree days. But studies and experience show a lack of mental stimulation causes them to unlearn much of what they were taught over the school year.  Boys & Girls Clubs across the country offer young people a safe, exciting place to spend their summer months, with staff and resources to fight the effects of this “Summer Brain Drain.”

The reality for today’s kids is that many will find themselves with few structured activities, caregivers who are working all day, and too much unsupervised television, video game and computer time.

President Touts Concerns Over Summer Learning

Also known as “summer learning loss” or the “summer slide,” this issue is a growing problem for American children.  In 2010, President Obama noted, “Students are losing a lot of what they learn during the school year during the summer.”

When does the school year end?

When does the school year end?

DECATUR, Ga. -- The last day of school is right around the corner for DeKalb County students.

Public schools, as well as Decatur City Schools, will dismiss for the summer on Thursday, May 24.

The last days of school in other metro Atlanta districts are staggered throughout the second half of May. They include:

Wednesday, May 16
Clarke County

Thursday, May 17
Hall County

Friday, May 18
Bartow County
Clayton County
Fulton County

Tuesday, May 22
Atlanta Public Schools
Barrow County

Wednesday, May 23
Carroll County
Gwinnett County
Newton County

Thursday, May 24
Cobb County
Rockdale County

DeKalb County decides against slashing teacher salaries

DeKalb County decides against slashing teacher salaries

ATLANTA -- The DeKalb County School District has decided not to cut teacher salaries for the 2012-2013 school year despite facing a shortfall of about $70 million.

DeKalb votes to cut 133 school jobs

DeKalb votes to cut 133 school jobs

STONE MOUNTAIN, GA -- DeKalb County's school board voted to cut 133 jobs, saving about $9.3 million.

The board voted 6-1 to make the cuts after the new superintendent, Cheryl Atkinson, commissioned an analysis of how many jobs were needed within the county's 135 schools and centers, compared to student enrollment.  

The lost jobs will be school-based positions -- meaning they don't include administration jobs.  The school system says another analysis is in the works that will cut jobs in the superintendent's office.

"That's still being worked out," said school system spokesman Walter Woods.  "This is another reform that we're making district wide, looking at every position throughout the district."

 The current round of job cuts will include each of 37 employees categorized as "graduation coaches and graduation specialists."