Originally posted at The Fact Checker on February 28, 2015 by Stan Jester
“Classrooms First for Georgia” – Requires, at a minimum, 65% of a system’s total operating funds to be spent in the classroom. The statute was enacted in FY2008 and DeKalb Schools has never been in compliance.
School districts are considered compliant if they increase their direct classroom expenditures as a percent of total operating expenditures by two or more percentage points over the previous fiscal year.
Fiscal Year 2014
The FY14 operating expenditures increased by $50 million from the previous year. Unfortunately they spent the exact same percent on classroom expenditures.
Fiscal Year 2015 – Budgeted
FY15 will see an estimated increase of $66 million in operating expenditures and should move classroom instruction to 62.40%.
Fiscal Year 2016
The budgeting season is approaching us. We can’t do anything about FY14 or FY15. Moving forward, shouldn’t the school board’s top budget priority be to construct a budget with at least 65% of the operating expenditures going into the classroom for FY16? As Nancy Jester use to say, “More classroom, less bureaucracy.”