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Fulton Schools announces effects of funding shortfall

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FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — Because of the delay in property tax assessments, Fulton County Schools has implemented immediate cost saving efforts. These include moving the payroll date for teachers and placing a moratorium on out-of-system travel.

Earlier this summer, the Fulton County Commission decided to roll back a portion of the tax digest for reassessed residential properties to 2016 levels. Because of the initial delay caused by the decision of the Fulton County Commission, the Fulton County Tax Assessor had to recalculate property assessments. Additionally, property notices had to be resent, delaying the typical process by more than two months. This means that Fulton County Schools is not receiving the expected revenue to fund their budget fully.

The district calculates its budget based on 63 percent of the revenue coming from property taxes.

“We did not know the extent of the delay in revenue until last week when the Georgia Department of Revenue did not approve Fulton County’s tax digest,” said Fulton County Superintendent Jeff Rose in a letter to all school employees. “We immediately worked to join Fulton County Government and Atlanta Public Schools in seeking legal relief to this situation through a Tax Collection Order. A judge will review the matter on Friday.”

According to Rose, the system’s priorities are the safety and security of their students and “to do everything we can to honor current employees with the compensation they deserve.”

Fulton County Schools has initiated multiple cost-saving measures to deal with the situation. They are:

•Move payroll date from Dec. 20 to Dec. 29 (Payroll will run on Dec. 15)

•Freeze hiring district-wide

•Place moratorium on out-of-system travel, including conferences for staff and student field trips

•Freeze spending, except items related to safety and security, federal compliance and fuel and utilities

“We know that these measures come as many of you are making travel plans for student field trips, conferences and even holiday plans for your families,” Rose said. “However, this is how serious our financial situation has become, despite our district’s effective managing of our financial resources.”

Questions about the changes and their effects can be sent to questions@fultonschools.org.


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