Atlanta Public Schools Plan to Cut Nearly 500 Jobs Due to Budget Issues
Report from AJC:
The school board approved a plan to cut up to 475 jobs, including about 230 teachers, 90 custodians and 14 bus drivers and transportation staffers. Some of the layoffs are a result of a recent school redistricting, others because of declining revenue.
Dozens of parents and employees spoke out against the planned changes, but school officials
say the cuts are necessary to get the district’s spending in check.
“We’re going to rethink almost everything we do, from the classroom to central offices,” said Chuck Burbridge, APS’ chief financial officer.
Revenue from property taxes has dropped by $119 million since 2008. Over the same period, the budget for the 49,000-student district has decreased by $56 million.
Almost every department was asked to cut spending by 10 percent in order to accommodate a leaner proposed budget of $564.8 million. Employees will again have two furlough days, and there will not be raises or cost-of-living increases.
Like most school
systems, the district spends most of its money — 53.6 percent — on salaries. Benefits are the second-highest expense and make up more than 20 percent of the budget. That’s why APS leaders say it’s impossible to make cuts without cutting people.
“We will have to reduce labor force to achieve this,” Burbridge said.