By Nancy Badertscher
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Fulton County Schools will be hiring – not laying off staff – under a 2013 budget plan approved Tuesday night.
The $814.1 million spending plan calls for adding 102 new employees -- including 90 teachers, the bulk of which will be staffing a new school.
The budget also includes other good news that some metro districts can’t claim:
No teacher furloughs;
No property tax increase;
And no additional increases in class size.
School Superintendent Robert Avossa said local school board members deserve the credit for being proactive early on in the recession.
“You all made the tough decisions during a troubling time and you had the courage to make the decisions while others waited and hoped for the best,” Avossa told the board. “That’s why we’re weathering the storm when others are struggling.”
The budget does not call for any salary increases, but the district gave one-time $1,000 checks to teachers and $500 to non-teachers.
"This has been as good as it gets for a bad year," said school board member Linda Bryant.
The school system is pulling $19 million out of savings to balance the budget, which is increasing by $4 million for the fiscal year that starts July 1.
The tax rate has yet to be set, but is expected to stay at 18.5 mills, said Marvin Dereef, budget director.
The school system expects to add 700 new students in the new fiscal year. In August, the system will open a replacement for Banneker High School in the College Park area and, on the other side of the county, it will open a new school Cambridge High in Milton.