DeKalb County Schools' financial situation just went from bad to worse. School board members learned Monday night that the district's budget hole has grown another $12 million.
Just as the board was ready to vote to on next year's budget, which already included deep cuts, the school district's staff members dropped a bombshell.
"Unfortunately, the numbers are changing, and they're not changing for the good," said the school system's finance chief, Michael Perrone.
"I don't know what to say," said school board chairman Eugene Walker, as he shook his head.
For weeks, the district has struggled to cut $73 million dollars from next year's budget. Now less money from the state and dwindling property values means the school district will have to chop $85 million from the budget.
"We've got to find $12 million, and that's not going to be fun," said board member Donald McChesney, who was visibly frustrated.
Some DeKalb County parents were already upset about proposed cuts that included cutting bus service to magnet schools. Even the Fernbank Science Center, which seemed to be in the clear, likely has an even more uncertain future now.
Life-long Tucker resident Ronnie Brown told CBS Atlanta News Tuesday morning that he's not happy about the idea of his property taxes going up to help the school board make ends meet.
"It's unreal to me," Brown said.
Long-time resident Guy Daves said the school district's latest financial problem doesn't surprise him.
"What else is new?" he asked. "If there's a dollar left over here, they'll spend it for something."
School board members are planning to meet next Wednesday at 1 p.m. to begin discussing further cuts. They don't have much time to make some tough decisions. The new fiscal year begins July 1.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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