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School budget: Same class sizes, adds day to term



July 03, 2014
FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- The Fiscal Year 2015 budget for the Fulton County Board of Education is a done deal, with few surprises or changes in place as the system looks to the next 12 months.

The $878 million budget in the general fund will be spent mostly in the classroom and to support students, with 67 percent allocated for staff salaries and local schools budgets. The remaining 33 percent will go toward pupil transportation, maintenance, operations and administration.

Class sizes will remain the same, however students will go to school for 178 days -- one additional day from last year as the systems gradually moves back to an 180-day calendar.

No raises are planned; staff will instead receive a one time, three percent bonus.

In all, the Fulton School System will spend just over $1.4 billion over the next 12 months across all budgets, including school nutrition, debt service, pension and construction.

The Fulton School Board voted to keep the millage rate at 18.502. While that may seem like a win for taxpayers, it actually translates into a tax increase as property values continue to rise, along with tax bills. In order to generate the same $509 million in tax levy as in the past year, the millage rate would need to have been rolled back to 18.342, which the board opted not to do.

A mill is applied to each $1,000 of assessed valuation. A home valued at $200,000 in Fulton County (outside the city of Atlanta) with the standard homeowner's exemption will pay $3,663 in taxes to the school system. Taxes going to the Fulton School System are more than half the annual tax bill for the average taxpayer

JC-7-2

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