No teacher cuts, tax hike in MCS proposed budget
by Jon Gillooly
jgillooly@mdjonline.com
March 28, 2012 12:00 AM | 2953 views | 12 12 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — Marietta Schools Superintendent Dr. Emily Lembeck unveiled a budget proposal for fiscal year 2013 that calls for no tax increases, classroom teacher cuts, class size increases or teacher furloughs.

The preliminary budget projects a $3.66 million shortfall, which would be made up by dipping into the system’s $17 million reserve fund.

Last year, the school board authorized Lembeck to use $3.4 million in reserves if needed, but because tax revenues have been favorable, the system doesn’t anticipate having to do that after all, said Erin Franklin, the school district’s finance director.

“We budgeted an 8 percent decrease in tax revenue (for FY2012),” Franklin said. “It’s coming in at more like a 3 percent decrease. We went on the information we had at the time from the tax assessor.”

For the new budget year, which spans July 1 to June 30, Lembeck has also proposed spending $1.3 million to give a 2 percent step increase in compensation for all permanent employees.

And rather than cutting any classroom teachers, Lembeck anticipates hiring about 13 on top of the 560 already employed. The new hires are needed to help manage an anticipated 450-student increase, which would put enrollment at about 8,600.

This is also the 13th year that the 17.97 millage rate for maintenance and operations has not been raised, she said.

Other new hires would include five IT positions at a cost of $235,475, in addition to a part-time staffer to manage the school information system for $47,095. Those additional costs would be offset by eliminating the 8.5 second-grade paraprofessional positions.

“The growing need for tech support in the schools is causing us to make some very serious decisions about staffing, and the great use of technology in the schools now is becoming a concern when it’s not working,” Lembeck said. “When I met with teachers in schools and administrators, they’re all clamoring for additional tech support in the schools. We can’t keep adding staff. We can’t keep growing our business. We have to do business in a different way and examine alternate ways of using staff.”

Lembeck expects most of those people in the eliminated paraprofessional positions to be hired back due to retirements.

The FY13 budget projects revenue at $74,075,489, down $190,313 from FY2012’s projected revenues, and expenditures at $77,741,500, up $3.8 million over FY12’s projected expenditures, Franklin said.

Marietta school board Chairwoman Jill Mutimer said she liked what she saw.

“I’m pleased that we’re projected to go into the next year without having furloughs and any pay cuts or (reductions in force), and I am very pleased that for the first time in several years our teachers are projected to get a pay increase, so I do think that’s good news,” Mutimer said. “Also, I was pleased to see the couple of things for increased support the schools had voiced they needed. I was pleased to see that the administration came up with ways to fund that with off setting cuts to other things, so without adding new expenses for what we need they searched and found things to cut pretty much to fund that.”

The budget is scheduled for adoption on June 19.
Comments
(12)
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Lockheedteacher
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March 30, 2012
If this really happens, it is our first "raise" in four years but our insurance has risen so much we still are making less than 4 years ago
Count your blessings
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March 30, 2012
Be happy you are getting a raise and be thankful that you have insurance at all. Many would love to trade places with you!
MCS EMPLOYEE
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March 29, 2012
they are not giving us anything. In typical mcs style, they are cutting in half what they pay in our insurance. That will be the raise-we will never see it. And dont forget the lowest paid staff members will see their insurance double in June
truth hurts
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March 28, 2012
It's about time but I will still be leaving Marietta/Cobb before the year is up! When I was looking for property in south Georgia I asked if they ever had splosts on the ballot. Nobody knew what it was. That is where I want to live!
David Plowden
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March 28, 2012
Just imagine the testing scores and conditions of the schools down in the promised land of Hahira, Quitman, etc. The mind boggles.
teacher heather
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March 28, 2012
Not sure if your comment was supposed to be sarcastic. i couldn't tell from the tone. I do know that there are several systems in South Georgia that outscore and outrank any school system in this area. They really do have their acts together in South Georgia in several districts and that's with a small revenue and lack of resources.
SPLOST Truth
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March 28, 2012
Dear Truth Hurts - The reason South Georgia Districts do not have SPLOST is that they receive Equalization Funding from the State via so called Wealthy Districts like Cobb. The South Georgia Districts have single digit Millage Rates = 5. They are laughing all the way to the bank.

Please enjoy your Tax Paradise courtesy of Cobb County Tax Payers. Hopefully you will never need any expensive and unnecessary tax funded services in your Tax Paradise like fire, police, water, medical all provided by the those lazy, unionized overpaid government workers.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out and take your tea bags with you.
Say What?
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March 28, 2012
That's because they have dirt roads. No need to pave. Good luck in your new environment.
Lembeck for CCSB
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March 28, 2012
Maybe the CCSB needs to sit down with Marietta's superintendent to learn how to budget. They are wasting SPLOST money at every turn, furloughing, cutting school days, and I am disgusted by all of this. I think it is time that the perks are gone. NO MORE payouts for sick leave, no more car and phone allowances for Glover Street, and cut the executives pay. Sweeney and the board never got back to cutting out sick leave payouts! WHy not?
excellent 3
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March 28, 2012
No Wonder, Ms Lembeck is Superintendent of the Year!!! Cobb County Schools can learn from her. NO FURLOUGHS!!!!
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