Parent Molly Bardsley speaks at DeKalb County School Board hearing
STONE MOUNTAIN, GA (CBS ATLANTA) -
A surprising sentiment was repeated at Tuesday night's public hearing on the budget for DeKalb County Schools. Homeowners asked the school board to raise their taxes.
"Spread the difficult situation among all the people of DeKalb County," said one homeowner who also works for the district.
"I know it's painful to say we have to do this, but we need to do this," said another homeowner from the podium.
The board approved a draft budget that includes a property tax increase which would require the average DeKalb County homeowner to shell out an extra $160 next year to help fill an anticipated $73 million budget gap for the 2012-2013 school year.
Board members also are considering raising class sizes, allowing three more students into each classroom.
Parent Molly Bardsley said she's adamantly opposed to another increase in class sizes.
"Increasing class sizes has got to stop. Our teachers are stretched to the limit," said Bardsley. "Maybe we should look at cutting athletics before we look at cutting into the classroom. There's no point in training athletes if they can't read or write or perform basic math."
School spokesman Walter Woods said the district was hurt by cuts at the state level, along with declining property values in the county.
The deficit is one of the largest in school district history, said Woods. However, the district is not expecting to lay off teachers.
"We made every attempt to make a lower impact on student success because that's the business we're in," said Woods.
Though current teachers do not stand to lose jobs, the district likely will hire fewer teachers this summer, said Woods.
The tax increase would help bring in an extra $32 million, Woods said. The school board has already cut 73 jobs at the administrative level, saving $5 million. Administrators now are recommending further cuts to personnel, spending and overtime, to save an additional $15 million.
"There's going to be things we don't want to do, but these are the tough choices we have to make," said Woods.
The final budget is expected by June 11, after another public comment meeting with parents at district headquarters scheduled for May 30.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Tuesday, June 18 2013 6:31 PM EDT2013-06-18 22:31:09 GMT
A Cobb County college student is behind bars after police said he met a 13-year-old girl online, then hid her in his room for more than a month. Jordan Measroch, 21 years-old, has been charged with rape,More >
A Kennesaw State University student is behind bars after police said he met a 13-year-old girl on an online dating site, then lived with her for more than a month.More >
Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:23 AM EDT2013-06-18 13:23:30 GMT
A 5-year-old girl set up a lemonade stand across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound, and now the group is targeting her. Jayden Sink raised nearly $200 on Friday while she sold lemonadeMore >
A 5-year-old girl set up a lemonade stand across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound, and now the group is targeting her.More >
Wednesday, June 19 2013 7:08 AM EDT2013-06-19 11:08:26 GMT
A grand jury indicted DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis, accusing him of attempting to extort campaign contributions from companies that do business with the county. The grand jury handed down a 15-countMore >
A grand jury indicted DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis Tuesday, accusing him of attempting to extort campaign contributions from companies that do business with the county.More >
Tuesday, June 18 2013 2:04 PM EDT2013-06-18 18:04:37 GMT
Rapper Lil Wayne is creating controversy over his new music video titled God Bless Amerika. In the video the rapper steps on the American flag several times. Lil' Wayne responded to outraged fansMore >
Rapper Lil Wayne is creating controversy over his new music video titled God Bless Amerika.More >
Tuesday, June 18 2013 8:20 AM EDT2013-06-18 12:20:27 GMT
Festival promoter Peter Conlon officially announced the September dates, music lineup and the addition of a third stage to Music Midtown 2013. The festival returns Friday, September 20 and Saturday, SeptemberMore >
Festival promoter Peter Conlon officially announced the September dates, music lineup and the addition of a third stage to Music Midtown 2013.More >
Tuesday, June 18 2013 8:45 PM EDT2013-06-19 00:45:28 GMT
Is a scooter gang targeting other newer scooters in southeast Atlanta? That is the question Sinan Sinharoy is asking after his SYM model DD50 scooter was stolen from his gated parking lot and replacedMore >
Is a scooter gang targeting other newer scooters in southeast Atlanta? That is the question Sinan Sinharoy is asking after his SYM model DD50 scooter was stolen from his gated parking lot and replaced with an older scooter.More >
Monday, June 20 2011 3:40 PM EDT2011-06-20 20:40:10 GMT
CBS Atlanta News' Sky Eye flew over the filming of "The Walking Dead" on Monday morning.The popular AMC series is currently filming in Hampton, Georgia. Check out our slideshow to see aerials of the filming!More >
Tuesday, June 18 2013 6:00 PM EDT2013-06-18 22:00:18 GMT
A hairy topic is trending on China's microblogging service Sina Weibo and on other websites. Website ChinaSMACK.com showcases a photo of hairy stockings for sale. The photo has gone viral. Sina WeiboMore >
A hairy topic is trending on China's microblogging service Sina Weibo and on other websites.More >